Mitochondrial DNA copy number in cumulus cells is a strong predictor of obtaining good-quality embryos after IVF.

Research paper by Mai M Ogino, Hiroshi H Tsubamoto, Kazuko K Sakata, Naoko N Oohama, Hitomi H Hayakawa, Teruhito T Kojima, Minoru M Shigeta, Hiroaki H Shibahara

Indexed on: 11 Jan '16Published on: 11 Jan '16Published in: Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics


The aim of this study was to establish a simple tool to predict good-quality embryos in in vitro fertilization (IVF) by using cumulus cells (CCs) or peripheral blood cells (PBCs).Mitochondrial DNA was extracted from CCs and PBCs in patients undergoing IVF. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction, mtDNA copy number in a single cell was calculated. Embryo quality was assessed when it was transferred or frozen.CCs were obtained from 60 oocyte cumulus-cell complexes (OCCCs) in 30 women, and PBCs were collected from 18 women. For the 30 women in the study, the median age was 37 years old (range, 24-43), and the mean body mass index was 21.4 (standard error, 2.0). mtDNA content of CCs and PBCs was highly correlated (Pearson's r = 0.900, p < 0.0001). The median mtDNA content of CCs for good- and poor-quality embryos was 140 and 57, respectively (p < 0.0001). The median mtDNA content of PBCs for good- and poor-quality embryos was 36 and 13, respectively (p = 0.604). The logistic regression model indicated that mtDNA content in CCs was the only parameter that predicted good-quality embryos (p = 0.020). The receiver operating characteristic curve for obtaining good-quality embryos by mtDNA copy number in CCs had an area under the curve of 0.823, and using a threshold of 86, positive and negative predictive values were 84.4 and 82.1 %, respectively.The determination of mtDNA content in CCs can be used to predict good-quality embryos.