Cumulus cells play an essential role during oocyte maturation and the acquisition of fertilizability and developmental competence. Micro(mi)RNAs can post-transcriptionally regulate mRNA expression, and we hypothesized that miRNA profiles in cumulus cells could serve as an indicator of oocyte quality. Cumulus cell biopsies from cumulus-oocyte-complexes that either yielded a blastocyst or failed to cleave after exposure to sperm cells were analyzed for miRNA expression. On average, 332 miRNA species with more than 10 reads and 240 miRNA species with more than 50 reads were identified in cumulus cells; this included nine previously undescribed microRNAs. The most highly expressed miRNAs in cumulus cells were miR-21, members of the let-7 family and miR-155. However, no repeatable differences in miRNA expression between the cumulus cells from oocytes that became blastocysts versus those from non-cleaved oocytes were identified. Further examination of individual cumulus cell samples showed a wide variability in miRNA expression level. We therefore conclude that miRNA expression in cumulus cells cannot be used as an oocyte quality marker.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNon-coding RNA
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Journal Article


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