Sequential (hFSH plus recFSH) vs homogenous (hFSH or recFSH alone) stimulation: clinical and biochemical (cumulus cell gene expression) aspects

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GÜRGAN T., Montjean D., Demirol A., Menezo Y. J. R.

JOURNAL OF ASSISTED REPRODUCTION AND GENETICS, vol.31, no.6, pp.657-665, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


FSH is a key hormone in the regulation of follicular development. Together with the EGF network, these molecules mediate oocyte maturation and competence in preparation for the action of LH. FSH isoforms regulate distinct biological pathways and have specific effects on granulosa cell function and maturation of the ovarian follicle. Their dynamic interactions occur during the follicular cycle; short-living forms are predominant in the pre-ovulatory phase, whereas long-acting molecules characterize the luteal-follicular transition. Recombinant FSH (rFSH) molecules have a reduced number of isoforms and are less acidic, with a shorter half-life. We have investigated sequential stimulation, comparing hFSH + rFSH, vs. rFSH alone and hFSH alone for the entire stimulation phase. Sequential stimulation leads to an E2 per MII oocyte ratio that is much lower than is seen during treatment with the two drugs individually. Although there is a positive tendency in favor of the sequential treatment, there was no significant difference in pregnancy rates, even taking frozen embryos into consideration. The cumulus cell transcriptome varies considerably between the treatments, although with no clear significance. When comparing pregnant vs. non-pregnant patients, in general a decrease in mRNA expression can be observed in the pregnant patients, especially in expression of folic acid receptor 1 and ovostatin 2. This indicates that material has been transferred from CC to the oocyte. However, a common observation in the literature is that variations in the transcriptome of the cumulus cells are highly dependent upon the patient genotype; the potential for applying this strategy as a basis for selecting embryos is, at the very least, questionable.