Improvements in oocyte competence in superovulated mice following treatment with cilostazol: Ovulation of immature oocytes with high developmental rates
Exogenous administration of superovulatory hormones negatively affects oocyte competence in mammals. Phosphodiesterase 3A inhibitors were found to improve competence of oocytes matured in vitro in several species, including humans. This study was therefore designed to define oocyte maturation synchronization and competence, in vivo, using superovulated mice treated with cilostazol, a selective phosphodiesterase 3A inhibitor. Swiss Webster mice were superovulated and treated orally with 7.5 mg cilostazol once or twice to result in ovulation of immature oocytes at the metaphase I (MI) or germinal vesicle (GV) stage, respectively. Control immature oocytes were recovered from preovulatory follicles of superovulated mice not treated with cilostazol. Treated GV oocytes had significantly higher rates of synchronized and advanced chromatin configuration and cortical granule distribution than did control GV oocytes. Treated GV oocytes had a moderate increase in cAMP levels and consequently higher rates of meiotic maturation, IVF, and blastocyst formation than did control GV oocytes (P < 0.0001). Treated MI oocytes had higher rates of normal spindles and chromosomes aligned at the metaphase plate than did control MI oocytes (P < 0.003). Treated mice ovulating MI oocytes produced litter sizes larger than those observed in control mice ovulating mature oocytes (P < 0.002). This study reveals that synchronization of oocyte maturation in superovulated mice improves oocyte development and competence. The capability of cilostazol, a clinically approved medication, to improve mouse oocyte competence suggests the potential benefit of including this compound in ovarian hyperstimulation programs to improve in vitro fertilization outcomes in infertile women.