Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.534, 468-473, 2021
Association of exosomal microRNAs in human ovarian follicular fluid with oocyte quality
The postponement of childbearing by women has led to an increase in infertility. The reproductive aging process leads to a decrease in both the quantity and quality of oocytes. The aim of this study was to investigate exosomal microRNAs in human ovarian follicular fluid and explore their potential association with oocyte quality. We collected ovarian follicle fluid from 68 patients and assigned the patients to A (superior oocyte quality) or B (poor oocyte quality) group according to their oocyte quality. Exosomal miRNAs were extracted, library constructed and sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq platform. Subsequently, we analyzed exosomal miRNA expression, predicted the miRNA target genes, and enriched Gene Ontology terms using GOSeq. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analysis was performed using miRanda. A total of 47 miRNAs were found to be significantly differentially expressed between group A and group B (p < 0.05). Among nine differentially expressed miRNAs that were previously known, seven were upregulated in group B. In silico analysis indicated that several of these exosomal miRNAs were involved in pathways implicated in oocyte quality. Analysis of the expression of exosomal miRNAs in human ovarian follicular fluid showed that they were critical for maintaining oocyte quality. Our findings provide the basis for further investigations of the functions of exosomal miRNAs in the ovarian microenvironment and suggest that these exosomal miRNAs may be potential biomarkers for evaluating oocyte quality. The findings are potentially important to maintain oocyte quality in clinical settings. (C) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.