Nurturing the egg: the essential connection between cumulus cells and the oocyte


  • Publication date : 2021-10-11

Reference

Robert C. Nurturing the egg: the essential connection between cumulus cells and the oocyte. Reprod Fertil Dev. 2021 Dec;34(2):149-159. doi: 10.1071/RD21282. PMID: 35231386.

Subject

Nurturing the egg: the essential connection between cumulus cells and the oocyte

Keywords

transzonal projections intercellular communications folliculogenesis follicle developmental competence cell signalling oocytes oogenesis ovary

Abstract

The determinants of oocyte quality remain uncertain. Under suitable conditions, which have yet to be defined, the gamete grows and acquires the competence to resume meiosis, be fertilised and undergo embryonic development at least beyond genome activation, after which the blastomere is autonomous enough to adapt to the specificity of its environment. This review describes the central role played by the oocyte in reproductive success and how communication between cumulus cells and the oocyte are essential to proper oogenesis and the quality of the resulting gamete. While most attempts to improve oocyte quality have been directed at gonadotrophin-based systemic endocrine signalling, it is proposed that parallel control of fertility may act locally within ovarian follicles through intimate cooperation between somatic cells and the oocyte via the network of transzonal projections. This intercellular communication may prove to be more sensitive to environmental conditions than systemic endocrine signalling, which is essential for many non-reproductive tissues.


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