2021 年 67 巻 4 号 p. 273-281
During oocyte growth and follicle development, oocytes closely communicate with cumulus cells. We examined the effects of oocyte-derived growth factors, growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15), on the growth and acquisition of meiotic competence of porcine oocytes collected from early antral follicles (1.2–1.5 mm). First, we confirmed that GDF9 and BMP15 mRNAs were expressed almost exclusively in the oocytes. Oocyte–cumulus cell complexes (OCCs) collected from early antral follicles were cultured in growth medium supplemented with 0–100 ng/ml of GDF9 or BMP15 for 5 days. GDF9 dose-dependently increased the OCC diameter, while BMP15 did not. GDF9 and BMP15 had no significant effects on oocyte growth (P > 0.05). When OCCs that had been cultured with 50 and 100 ng/ml BMP15 were subjected to a subsequent maturation culture, they expanded fully by gonadotropic stimulation and 49% and 61% of oocytes matured to metaphase II (MII), respectively. In contrast, GDF9 did not promote cumulus expansion, and < 10% of oocytes matured to MII. Based on the difference in cumulus expansion, we compared the expression of luteinizing hormone/choriogonadotropin receptor (LHCGR) and follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) mRNAs in cumulus cells. The level of LHCGR mRNA was increased in cumulus cells of the BMP15 group, although there were no significant differences in FSHR mRNA levels among the groups. These results suggest that GDF9 promotes the growth of OCCs and that BMP15 promotes LHCGR mRNA expression in cumulus cells during oocyte growth culture, which may contribute to cumulus expansion and oocyte maturation.