Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


FSH-induced expansion of the mouse cumulus oophorus in vitro is dependent upon a specific factor(s) secreted by the oocyte.

Document Type


Publication Date



Cells-Cultured, Culture-Media, Cytoplasm: me, Epidermal-Growth-Factor-Urogastrone, Female, FSH, Granulosa-Cells: cy, Hyaluronic-Acid: bi, In-Vitro, Oocytes: ph, SUPPORT-NON-U-S-GOVT, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

JAX Location

Reprint Collection : 1,973

JAX Source

Dev Biol 1990 Mar; 138(1):16-25.




Although it has been shown that granulosa cells regulate the growth and meiotic maturation of mammalian oocytes, there is little evidence of a role for the oocyte in the differentiation or function of granulosa cells. To test the hypothesis that the oocyte participates in the regulation of granulosa cell function, oocytes were removed from isolated oocyte-cumulus cell complexes by a microsurgical procedure and oocytectomized complexes were tested for their ability to undergo expansion in response to follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH increased the levels of intracellular cAMP, the activity of the hyaluronic acid-synthesizing enzyme system, and induced cumulus expansion in intact complexes. In contrast, FSH did not induce increased hyaluronic acid-synthesizing enzyme activity or cumulus expansion in oocytectomized complexes. Therefore, the participation of the oocyte is necessary for the cumulus cells to synthesize hyaluronic acid and undergo cumulus expansion in vitro in response to stimulation with FSH. FSH induced the elevation of intracellular cAMP to the same extent in both intact and oocytectomized complexes and the cAMP analog 8-bromo cyclic adenosine monophosphate (8Br-cAMP) did not stimulate expansion in oocytectomized complexes. Therefore, the influence of the oocyte on cumulus expansion occurs downstream from the elevation of cAMP levels in the cumulus cells. Epidermal growth factor (EGF), a potent stimulator of cumulus expansion in intact complexes, which probably acts by a mechanism at least initially different from FSH, failed to stimulate cumulus expansion after oocytectomy. Next, oocytectomized complexes were either cocultured with germinal vesicle stage denuded oocytes or cultured in medium conditioned by denuded oocytes. In both cases, FSH or EGF stimulated expansion by oocytectomized complexes. The degree of expansion was directly correlated to the number of oocytes used to condition the medium. Contact between the oocyte and the cumulus cells is not necessary for cumulus expansion. Rather, a factor(s) secreted by the oocyte is necessary for the cumulus cells to undergo expansion in response to either FSH or EGF. FSH did not induce expansion of oocytectomized complexes in media conditioned by various somatic cells such as granulosa cells, fibroblasts, and Sertoli cells; by a mixed population of male germ cells; or by spermatozoa. This suggests that the expansion enabling activity is specific to the oocyte. These results demonstrate that the oocyte participates in the regulation of cumulus cell function.