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Exposing bovine cumulus–oocyte complexes to aromatizable androgen restore serum-induced low estradiol production in vitro

  • M.P. Bernuci (a1), D.L. Bulgareli (a2), A.A. Vireque (a2), C.P. Pitangui (a2), M.F.S. de Sa (a2) and A.C.J.S. Rosa-e-Silva (a2)...

We aimed in this study to assess whether serum-decreased bovine cumulus–oocyte complex (COC) steroidogenesis during in vitro maturation (IVM) is caused by deficient androgen milieu. For this approach, bovine COCs were cultured in serum-supplemented IVM medium in the presence or absence of 1 μM androstenedione. After 24 h of culture, medium was collected and analyzed for its content of estradiol-17β (E2) and progesterone (P4). Medium E2 content markedly increased after incubation of COCs with androstenedione (17.52 ± 1.86 ng/ml to the androgen group; 0.32 ± 0.05 ng/ml to the non-androgen group). No significant difference in the P4 content was detected despite the presence of androstenedione (21.83 ± 1.61 ng/ml to the androgen group; 21.73 ± 1.67 ng/ml to the non-androgen group). Our data provide compelling evidence that bovine COCs steroidogenesis remains functional during culture in serum-supplemented medium and suggest that serum-induced decreased COCs estradiol secretion is caused by deficiency of an aromatizable androgen source.

Corresponding author
All correspondence to: Marcelo Picinin Bernuci. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, 14049–900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. Tel: +55 16 3602 5110. Fax: +55 16 3602 2231. e-mail:
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  • ISSN: 0967-1994
  • EISSN: 1469-8730
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