New candidate genes to predict pregnancy outcome in single embryo transfer cycles when using cumulus cell gene expression

Gene expression of human cumulus cells is a promising tool to predict oocyte quality in intracytoplasmic sperm injection patients. This retrospective study pinpointed CAMK1D and EFNB2 as strong genes to predict pregnancy outcome.

Sandra Wathlet, M.Sc., Tom Adriaenssens, M.Sc., Ingrid Segers, M.Sc., Greta Verheyen, Ph.D., Ronny Janssens, B.Sc., Wim Coucke, Ph.D., Paul Devroey, M.D., Ph.D., Johan Smitz, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 98, Issue 2 , Pages 432-439.e4, August 2012


To relate the gene expression in cumulus cells surrounding an oocyte to the potential of the oocyte, as evaluated by the embryo morphology (days 3 and 5) and pregnancy obtained in single-embryo transfer cycles.

Retrospective analysis of individual human cumulus complexes using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction for 11 genes.

University hospital IVF center.

Thirty-three intracytoplasmic sperm injection patients, of which 16 were pregnant (4 biochemical and 12 live birth).

Gene expression analysis in human cumulus complexes collected individually at pickup, allowing a correlation with the outcome of the corresponding oocyte. Multiparametric models were built for embryo morphology parameters and pregnancy prediction to find the most predictive genes.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Gene expression profile of 99 cumulus complexes for 11 genes.

For embryo morphology prediction, TRPM7, ITPKA, STC2, CYP11A1, and HSD3B1 were often retained as informative. Models for pregnancy—biochemical or live birth—complemented or not with patient and cycle characteristics, always retained EFNB2 and CAMK1D together with STC1 or STC2. Positive and negative predictive values of the live birth models were >85%.

EFNB2 and CAMK1D are promising genes that could help to choose the embryo to transfer with the highest chance of a pregnancy.

  • Paul Brezina

    This is an exciting paper. I certainly think that as we gain a deeper understanding of the genome, there will be increasing applications for diagnostic genetic tests. I think that in many cases, however, the reality of what we see clinically is a representation of a host of genetic factors whose affects are modified by environment. Therefore, I believe it will take some time to be able to accurately use many genetic markers for application to clinical medicine in general.

Translate »