The proteome, not the transcriptome, predicts that oocyte superovulation affects embryonic phenotypes in mice

Leila Taher*, Steffen Israel, Hannes C A Drexler, Wojciech Makalowski, Yutaka Suzuki, Georg Fuellen*, Michele Boiani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Superovulation is the epitome for generating oocytes for molecular embryology in mice, and it is used to model medically assisted reproduction in humans. However, whether a superovulated oocyte is normal, is an open question. This study establishes for the first time that superovulation is associated with proteome changes that affect phenotypic traits in mice, whereas the transcriptome is far less predictive. The proteins that were differentially expressed in superovulated mouse oocytes and embryos compared to their naturally ovulated counterparts were enriched in ontology terms describing abnormal mammalian phenotypes: a thinner zona pellucida, a smaller oocyte diameter, increased frequency of cleavage arrest, and defective blastocyst formation, which could all be verified functionally. Moreover, our findings indicate that embryos with such abnormalities are negatively selected during preimplantation, and ascribe these abnormalities to incomplete ovarian maturation during the time of the conventional superovulation, since they could be corrected upon postponement of the ovulatory stimulus by 24 h. Our data place constraints on the common view that superovulated oocytes are suitable for drawing general conclusions about developmental processes, and underscore the importance of including the proteins in a modern molecular definition of oocyte quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23731
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'The proteome, not the transcriptome, predicts that oocyte superovulation affects embryonic phenotypes in mice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this