Steroidogenesis in cumulus cells of bovine cumulus-oocyte-complexes matured in vitro with BSA and different concentrations of steroids
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The present in vitro experiments were designed to evaluate the ability of bovine cumulus-oocyte-complexes (COCs)to produce steroids and also to evaluate the modulatory effects of added estradiol, progesterone and testosterone on the steroidogenic activity of COCs. Considerable estradiol accumulation was observed in the control maturation medium for in vitro maturation of bovine COCs during the 24h of maturation (P < 0.05). When testosterone was added to the medium at various concentrations, a slight estradiol accumulation occurred, which, however, was lower (P < 0.05) than that observed in the control medium. Slight estradiol accumulation was observed in maturation medium containing progesterone at concentrations of 2.5, 5.0 and 10.0 mug/ml, but these increases were less (P < 0.05) than those observed in the control medium. However, in the presence of 1.0 mug/ml progesterone, estradiol accumulation was equal to that of the control medium (P > 0.05). Progesterone accumulation (P < 0.05) was observed in the control medium for in vitro maturation of bovine COCs. When estradiol was added to the maturation medium, progesterone accumulation was observed, but was significant (P < 0.05) only when the medium was supplemented with the lesser concentrations of estradiol utilized in the experiment (1.0 mug/ml). The results demonstrated that (1) cumulus cells of bovine COCs are able to secrete estradiol and progesterone in culture systems for in vitro maturation, and this steroidogenesis is modulated by the steroids progesterone, testosterone and estradiol, and (2) the addition of estradiol to the in vitro maturation medium of bovine oocytes should be reviewed, since cumulus cells of COCs have been demonstrated to secrete estradiol in the maturation medium. (C) 2002 Elsevier B.V. B.V. All rights reserved.