Effects of myo-inositol on the in-vitro maturation and subsequent development of mouse oocytes

Hum Reprod. 2003 Feb;18(2):408-16. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deg113.


Background: The study aim was to assess whether the incorporation of myo-inositol (MI) into culture medium could improve oocyte maturation in vitro.

Methods and results: We performed a controlled prospective study using female ICR strain mice superovulated with pregnant mare's serum gonadotrophins. Cumulus-enclosed germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes were randomly cultured in medium with or without MI supplementation. The kinetics of GV breakdown after 4 h of incubation was significantly higher in oocytes incubated with 30 mmol/l of MI than in controls (P < 0.001). Accordingly, this concentration of MI was used for subsequent experiments. The proportion of metaphase II oocytes achieved after 24 h of culture, their fertilization and cleavage rates were significantly higher in the MI-treated group (P < 0.01, P < 0.05, P < 0.05 respectively). This group also demonstrated significant improvement in postimplantation development after transferring the 2-cell embryos to pseudopregnant mice. Confocal microscopy revealed spontaneous intracellular Ca(2+) oscillations within competent GV oocytes and treatment with MI caused an earlier onset of these Ca(2+) signals.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that MI may affect meiotic progression of mouse GV oocytes possibly by enhancing the intracellular Ca(2+) oscillations. Supplementation of MI in culture medium may be useful for human oocyte maturation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cellular Senescence / drug effects
  • Culture Media
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Inositol / administration & dosage
  • Inositol / pharmacology*
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism
  • Meiosis / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Oocytes / drug effects*
  • Oocytes / metabolism
  • Oocytes / physiology*
  • Oscillometry
  • Ovarian Follicle / cytology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Culture Media
  • Inositol
  • Calcium