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Improvement of ovarian response and oocyte quality of aged female by administration of bone morphogenetic protein-6 in a mouse model

Seung S Park1, Min J Park2, Bo S Joo2, Jong K Joo1, Jung B Son1 and Kyu S Lee1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Research Institute, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea

2 Center for Reproductive Medicine, Good Moonhwa Hospital, Busan, Korea

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Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2012, 10:117  doi:10.1186/1477-7827-10-117

Published: 29 December 2012



Advancing female age remains a difficult problem in infertility treatment. Ovarian angiogenesis plays an important role in follicular development and the activation of ovarian angiogenesis has been emerged as a new strategy for the improvement of age-related decline of oocyte quality. BMP-6 affect gonadotropin signals in granulosa cells and it promotes normal fertility by enabling appropriate response to LH and normal oocyte quality. BMP-6 has a potential role in regulation of angiogenesis and regulates the expression of inhibitor of DNA-binding proteins (Ids). Ids involved in the control and timing of follicle selection and granulosa cells differentiation. Especially, Id-1 is well-characterized target of BMP-6 signaling. Therefore, this study investigated whether co-administration of BMP-6 during superovulation process improves ovarian response, oocyte quality and expression of Id-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the ovary of aged female using a mouse model.


Aged C57BL/6 female mice (26–31 weeks old) were superovulated by injection with 0.1 mL of 5 IU equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) containing recombinant mouse BMP-6 at various doses (0, 0.01, 0.1, 1, and 10 ng), followed by injection with 5 IU human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) 48 h later. Then, the mice were immediately paired with an individual male. The aged control group was superovulated without BMP-6. Young mice of 6–9 weeks old were superovulated without BMP-6 as a positive control for superovulation and in vitro culture of embryos. Eighteen hours after hCG injection, zygotes were retrieved and cultured for 4 days. Both ovaries of each mouse were provided in the examination of ovarian expression of Id-1 and VEGF by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, western blot, and immunohistochemistry.


Administration of 0.1 ng BMP-6 significantly increased the number and blastocyst formation rate of oocytes ovulated and ovarian expression of Id-1 and VEGF compared to aged control mice. These increased levels were comparable to those of young control mice.


This result suggests that BMP-6 during ovulation induction plays an important role in improvement of oocyte quality and ovarian response of aged female, possibly by regulating of ovarian Id-1 and VEGF expression.

Female aging; BMP-6; Ovarian function; Oocyte quality; Id-1; VEGF