Successful in vitro maturation (IVM) of oocytes obtained from medium-sized antral follicles could avoid the need for superovulation for in vitro fertilization. The wide range of doses of FSH used in IVM prompted us to study the effect of varying concentrations of FSH on the dynamics of nutrient uptake and production by individual maturing mouse cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs). COCs isolated from the antral follicles of unprimed, prepubertal B6CBF1 mice were cultured individually in increasing concentrations of FSH (0–2000 ng/ml). Following culture, pyruvate, glucose, and lactate uptake or production by individual complexes were noninvasively assessed and compared with the stage of nuclear maturation of the enclosed oocyte. FSH significantly increased oocyte maturation and produced a two- to threefold increase in glucose uptake and lactate production by COCs in which the enclosed oocyte completed maturation. In these COCs, pyruvate was taken up under control conditions but was produced in progressively higher quantities in increasing concentrations of FSH. In COCs where the oocyte failed to complete maturation, pyruvate was taken up (rather than produced) and glucose uptake and lactate production were lower and unaffected by the presence or absence of FSH. This suggests that there is dialogue between cumulus cells and the maturing oocyte that influences FSH responsiveness and substrate metabolism of the whole COC. Finally, inhibition of FSH-stimulated glucose uptake by the PI3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 and the finding of GLUT4 protein in granulosa cells suggest that FSH increases glucose uptake by PI3-kinase-mediated translocation of GLUT4 to the granulosa cell membrane.
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