Melatonin has dose-dependent effects on folliculogenesis, oocyte maturation capacity and steroidogenesis

Iris Adriaens, Paul Jacquet, Rita Cortvrindt, Karine Janssen, Johan Smitz

    Research outputpeer-review


    Chemo and/or radiotherapy applied to young cancer patients most often have severe effects upon female fertility. Drugs that could protect the oocyte and its surrounding feeder cells from damage can be of great importance. This paper reports the direct effects of different melatonin (a powerful antioxidant) concentrations (range: 1 nM to 2 mM) on folliculogenesis and oogenesis of in vitro cultured mouse ovarian follicles. Early secondary mouse follicles were cultured in vitro for 12 days under different melatonin regimes. Every fourth day, survival rates were scored, follicles were morphologically evaluated and medium was collected for steroid analyses. On day 12, in vitro ovulation was induced by hCG/EGF. Eighteen hours later, oocytes were measured, oocyte maturation was evaluated and normality of spindle and chromosomes ascertained. Results obtained in this study indicated that 2mM melatonin is toxic. One mM negatively influenced oocyte maturation capacity. In the presence of 100 µM melatonin, androstenedione and progesterone were increased whereas estradiol was not influenced. Lower melatonin concentrations had no effect on the evaluated parameters. These data indicate an effect of melatonin on theca cell steroidogenesis. For prophylactic use, a dose of 10 µM could be suitable to reduce oxidative stress in cultured follicles.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)333-343
    Issue number2-3
    StatePublished - Dec 2006

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