Fertility and sterility

Distinct sets of developmentally regulated genes that are expressed by human oocytes and human embryonic stem cells.

PMID 17126334


To identify genes that are expressed differently during final oocyte maturation and early embryonic development in humans. Comparison of gene expression profiles of human germinal vesicle oocytes (hGVO), human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and human foreskin fibroblasts. Research centers and a fertility unit in a university hospital. Fifty-five healthy women donated 76 hGVO. None. Gene expression profiles were analyzed and compared with the use of microarray and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Altogether, 10,183 genes were expressed in hGVO, and 45% of these genes were unclassified by biologic function. Four oocyte-specific genes (MATER, ZAR1, NPM2 and FIGLA) were detected in hGVO for the first time. Known components of 4 signaling pathways (MOS-MPF, transforming growth factor-beta, WNT, and NOTCH) were also found expressed in hGVO, with some components detected in hGVO for the first time. Distinct sets of genes that were revealed by comparison of expression profiles between hGVO, hESC, and human foreskin fibroblasts appear to be involved in oocyte maturation and early embryonic development. We obtained, for the first time, a large amount of information on gene expression of hGVO as compared with hESC. These data, from a unique research material-human oocytes, can now be used to understand the molecular mechanisms of early human development.