Lipofuscin bodies in human oocytes as an indicator of oocyte quality

Junko Otsuki, Yasushi Nagai, Kazuyoshi Chiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Refractile bodies are one of the main morphological abnormalities that can be observed in the cytoplasm of human oocytes. In the present studies the characteristics of refractile bodies and the relationship between the size of these structures and developmental competence of the affected oocytes and resulting embryos were examined. The refractile bodies were found to have yellow autofluorescence which was consistent with the typical autofluorescence of lipofuscin. Viewed by transmitted electron microscopy, the refractile bodies showed the conventional morphology of lipofuscin inclusions and consisted of a mixture of lipids and dense granule materials. Large refractile bodies (>5 μm) were positively stained by the Schmorl reaction and were considered to contain lipofuscin. These larger lipofuscin inclusions (>5 μm) were associated with significantly reduced fertilization and unfavorable blastocyst development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-270
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Autofluorescence
  • Blastocyst development
  • Lipofuscin bodies
  • Oocyte fertilization
  • Oocyte refractile bodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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