An investigation into the relationship between the metabolic profile of follicular fluid, oocyte developmental potential, and implantation outcome

A panel of biomarkers that associate with oocyte and pregnancy outcome were identified by use of a metabolomics approach.


Martina Wallace, Ph.D., Evelyn Cottell, Ph.D., Michael J. Gibney, Ph.D., Fionnuala M. McAuliffe, M.D., Mary Wingfield, M.D., Lorraine Brennan, Ph.D.

Vol 97, Issue 5, Pages 1078-1084.e8



To determine whether metabolomic analysis of follicular fluid could prove a useful noninvasive technique for the selection of viable oocytes and embryos.


Metabolomic analysis based on proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) performed on follicular fluid collected from in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients.


A university research center and a private fertility clinic.


Fifty-eight women undergoing IVF treatment.


Follicular fluid collected at the time of oocyte retrieval.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Metabolomic profile, assessment of oocyte developmental potential and embryo viability.


The metabolomic profile of follicular fluid from follicles where the oocyte resulted in a fertilized egg that failed to cleave (n = 9) was distinctly different from that where oocytes developed into early cleavage-stage embryos. Discriminating metabolites included glucose, lactate, choline/phosphocholine, and lipoproteins. Comparison of follicular fluid from women who subsequently had a positive ╬▓ human chorionic gonadotropin (n = 10) to those who were unsuccessful in achieving a pregnancy (n = 12) revealed metabolic differences that were correlated to cycle outcome.


Differences in the metabolite composition of follicular fluid correlate with the developmental competence of the human oocyte. Therefore, metabolomic profiling of follicular fluid may prove to be an important technique in gamete/embryo selection.

Read the full text at:

Please sign in or register for FREE

Your Fertility and Sterility Dialog login information is not the same as your ASRM or EES credentials. Users must create a separate account to comment or interact on the Dialog.