• CD52;
  • cumulus cells;
  • female reproductive tissues;
  • fertilization;
  • ovulation

Problem  Early studies have shown that an antibody to male reproductive tissue CD52 is a pathogenic factor of infertility. The molecule contains a unique carbohydrate antigen that induces antibodies interfering with sperm function. However, the characteristic properties of CD52 in female reproductive tissues are not known. We examined the expression and localization of CD52 in mature expanded cumulus masses.

Method of study  Mouse cumulus oocyte complexes were collected from [C57B1/6; DBA/2] F1 female mice having a superovulation treatment. Human cumulus cells were obtained from infertile patients taking in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer treatment under informed consent. CD52 messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein were detected using RT-PCR, quantitative PCR, western blotting and immunohistochemical methods.

Results  CD52 mRNA was found both in the human and mouse cumulus cells. Mouse CD52 mRNA was detected in cumulus cells but not oocytes and significantly increased after ovulation. The expression of the molecule was also confirmed at the protein level. Immunostaining with anti CD52 peptide antibody revealed that CD52 is present in cumulus cells and the extracellular matrix.

Conclusion  We first showed the expression of CD52 in human cumulus cells. CD52 has some functional roles around fertilization in females as well as in males.