UMMS Affiliation

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility

Publication Date


Document Type



Cell Biology | Cells | Developmental Biology | Hormones, Hormone Substitutes, and Hormone Antagonists | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Reproductive and Urinary Physiology | Urogenital System


The ovarian follicle luteinizing hormone (LH) signaling molecules that regulate oocyte meiotic maturation have recently been identified. The LH signal reduces preovulatory follicle cyclic nucleotide levels which releases oocytes from the first meiotic arrest. In the ovarian follicle, the LH signal reduces cyclic nucleotide levels via the CNP/NPR2 system, the EGF/EGF receptor network, and follicle/oocyte gap junctions. In the oocyte, reduced cyclic nucleotide levels activate the maturation promoting factor (MPF). The activated MPF induces chromosome segregation and completion of the first and second meiotic divisions. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the current understanding of human LH signaling regulation of oocyte meiotic maturation by identifying and integrating the human studies on this topic. We found 89 human studies in the literature that identified 24 LH follicle/oocyte signaling proteins. These studies show that human oocyte meiotic maturation is regulated by the same proteins that regulate animal oocyte meiotic maturation. We also found that these LH signaling pathway molecules regulate human oocyte quality and subsequent embryo quality. Remarkably, in vitro maturation (IVM) prematuration culture (PMC) protocols that manipulate the LH signaling pathway improve human oocyte quality of cultured human oocytes. This knowledge has improved clinical human IVM efficiency which may become a routine alternative ART for some infertile patients.


LH follicle signaling, Oocyte meiotic maturation, Oocyte quality

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

DOI of Published Version



Arroyo A, Kim B, Yeh J. Luteinizing Hormone Action in Human Oocyte Maturation and Quality: Signaling Pathways, Regulation, and Clinical Impact. Reprod Sci. 2020 Jun;27(6):1223-1252. doi: 10.1007/s43032-019-00137-x. Epub 2020 Jan 6. PMID: 32046451; PMCID: PMC7190682. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.)

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.