Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Preantral Follicle Culture and Oocyte Quality

Ursula Eichenlaub-Ritter


Formation of high quality oocytes depends on complex stage-specific interactions between the germ cell and the somatic compartment involving endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine regulation. Cooperativity in bi-directional signaling and metabolism in response to factors in the microenvironment drive growth, proliferation, cell-cycle regulation, spindle formation and the establishment of epigenetic marks in oocytes. This is essential to ensure faithful chromosome segregation and achieve high oocyte quality with far reaching consequences for embryo survival, development and health of offspring. Oocytes reach developmental capacity throughout early meiotic stages up to full growth and acquisition of nuclear and cytoplasmic maturational competence during folliculogenesis. Improved preantral follicle culture in which ideally intimate contacts between oocyte and somatic cells are retained provides unique opportunities to assess the impact of microenvironment, growth factors, hormones, cryopreservation and environmental exposures on folliculogenesis and oocyte quality. An optimized follicle culture can contribute to obtain high quality oocytes for use in fertility preservation in cancer patients, animal breeding and preservation of endangered species. The last decade has brought major advances in follicle culture from different species. Recent advances in preantral follicle culture are discussed to assess influences of environment, adverse exposures, cryopreservation and age on oocyte quality.

RD17411  Accepted 06 October 2017

© CSIRO 2017