Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Developmental pattern of the secretion of cumulus expansion-enabling factor by mouse oocytes and the role of oocytes in promoting granulosa cell differentiation.

Document Type


Publication Date



Biological-Factors, Cell-Communication, Cell-Differentiation, Female, FSH, Graafian-Follicle, Granulosa-Cells, In-Vitro, Intercellular-Junctions, Meiosis, Mice, Mice-Inbred-Strains, Microscopy-Electron-Scanning, Oocytes, Support-Non-U, S, -Gov't, Support-U, S, -Gov't-P, H, S

JAX Source

Dev Biol 1990 Aug; 140(2):307-17.




The expansion, or mucification, of the mouse cumulus oophorus in vitro requires the presence of an enabling factor secreted by the oocyte as well as stimulation with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This study focuses on (1) the ability of mouse oocytes to secrete the enabling factor at various times during oocyte growth and maturation, (2) the temporal relationships between the development of the capacity of the oocyte to undergo germinal vesicle breakdown, the ability of the oocyte to secrete cumulus expansion-enabling factor, and the capacity of the cumulus oophorus to undergo expansion, and (3) the role of the oocyte in the differentiation of granulosa cells as functional cumulus cells. Growing, meiotically incompetent oocytes did not produce detectable amounts of cumulus expansion-enabling factor, but fully grown meiosis-arrested oocytes, maturing oocytes, and metaphase II oocytes did. Detectable quantities of enabling factor were produced by zygotes, but not by two-cell stage to morula embryos. The ability of oocytes to secrete cumulus expansion enabling factor and the capacity of cumulus cells to respond to FSH and the enabling factor are temporally correlated with the acquisition of oocyte competence to undergo germinal vesicle breakdown. Mural granulosa cells of antral follicles do not expand in response to FSH even in the presence of cumulus expansion-enabling factor, showing that mural granulosa cells and cumulus cells are functionally distinct cell types. The perioocytic granulosa cells of preantral follicles isolated from 12-day-old mice differentiate into functional cumulus cells during a 7-day period in culture. Oocytectomized granulosa cell complexes grown in medium conditioned by either growing or fully grown oocytes were comparable in size to intact complexes and maintained their 3-dimensional integrity to a greater degree than oocytectomized complexes grown in unconditioned medium. After 7 days, the oocytectomized complexes were stimulated with FSH in the presence of enabling factor, but no expansion was observed whether or not the oocytectomized complexes grew in the presence of oocyte-conditioned medium. These results suggest that a factor(s) secreted by the oocyte affects granulosa cell proliferation and the structural organization of the follicle, but continual close association with the oocyte appears necessary for the differentiation of granulosa cells into functional cumulus cells, insofar as they are capable of undergoing expansion.

Please contact the Joan Staats Library for information regarding this document.