Objective: To determine whether the type of gonadotropin affects the secretion of oocyte-specific factors, the endocrine pattern in follicular fluid, and the apoptosis rate in cumulus cells.
Study design: Prospective and observational study into an university-affiliated private in vitro fertilization setting. Ninety women included in our oocyte donation program were stimulated with human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG), recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) or urinary FSH. Main outcome measures were growth-differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP-15) expression, hormonal profile and apoptosis rate.
Results: No statistically significant differences were observed for GDF-9 and BMP-15 among the three treatment groups. Estradiol concentrations in follicular fluid were significantly higher in women treated with hMG compared with recombinant FSH or urinary FSH. Testosterone levels were also higher in the group treated with hMG. A statistically significant association was found between the degree of apoptosis in cumulus cells and the type of gonadotropin.
Conclusions: The type of gonadotropin used during controlled ovarian stimulation significantly affects endocrine profiles in follicular fluid and the apoptosis rate in cumulus cells. However, there were no significant differences in the levels of oocyte-secreted factors between treatments.
Keywords: Apoptosis rate; BMP-15; GDF-9; Steroids.
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