TNF-α and Cumulus Cell-oocyte Complex Expansion

During ovulation the oocyte and surrounding somatic cumulus cells contained within a specialized, mucoid matrix are released from the ovary. One matrix component, TNF-α stimulated gene 6 (TSG-6), is a hyaluronan binding protein induced in cumulus cells of preovulatory follicles by the LH surge and is decreased in cumulus cells of COX-2 and EP2 null mice which exhibit impaired ovulation and cumulus expansion. Disruption of the functional interactions between TSG-6 IaI, and hyaluronan in cultures of cumulus cell-oocyte complexes (COCs) severely alters expansion indicating that TSG-6 is a key structural component of the COC matrix. Richard Gomer previously engineered a system to do low-light videomicroscopy inside a 37° humidified 5% CO2 incubator, and helped Scott Ochsner and Joanne Richards use the system (Ochsner et al. Disrupted function of TNF-a stimulated gene 6 blocks cumulus cell-oocyte complex expansion. Endocrinology 2003 Oct;144(10):4376-84).

For more information on this work contact:

Joanne S. Richards
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza
Houston, Texas 77030
E-mail: joanner@bcm.edu