Valproic acid enhances in vitro development and Oct-3/4 expression of miniature pig somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos.
ABSTRACT The present study was carried out to examine the effects of valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, on in vitro development of miniature pig somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos and on expression of a mouse Oct-3/4 promoter-driven enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene (EGFP expression only detected in Oct-3/4-expressing cells) introduced into donor cells for SCNT during their development. The addition of 4 mM VPA to embryo culture medium for 48 h after activation significantly (p < 0.01) increased the blastocyst formation rate of SCNT embryos compared with the control, whereas VPA did not affect their cleavage rate. The rate of SCNT embryos expressing EGFP at 5 days of culture was not affected by the presence or absence of VPA treatment. At 7 days of culture, however, the addition of 4 mM VPA to embryo culture medium for 48 h after activation significantly (p < 0.05) increased the rate of SCNT embryos expressing EGFP compared with the control. The results indicate that VPA enhances the ability of miniature pig SCNT embryos to develop into blastocysts and maintains the ability of them to express Oct-3/4 gene.
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ABSTRACT: Cloning of mammals by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is still plagued by low efficiency. The epigenetic modifications established during cellular differentiation are a major factor determining this low efficiency as they act as epigenetic barriers restricting reprogramming of somatic nuclei. In this regard, most factors that promote chromatin decondensation, including histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis), have been found to increase nuclear reprogramming efficiency, making their use common to improve SCNT rates. Herein we used valproic acid (VPA) in SCNT to test whether the treatment of nuclear donor cells with this HDACi improves pre- and post-implantation development of cloned cattle. We found that the treatment of fibroblasts with VPA increased histone acetylation without affecting DNA methylation. Moreover, the treatment with VPA resulted in increased expression of IGF2R and PPARGC1A, but not of POU5F1. However, when treated cells were used as nuclear donors no difference of histone acetylation was found after oocyte reconstruction compared to the use of untreated cells. Moreover, shortly after artificial activation the histone acetylation levels were decreased in the embryos produced with VPA-treated cells. With respect to developmental rates, the use of treated cells as donors resulted in no difference during pre- and post-implantation development. In total, five clones developed to term; three produced with untreated cells and two with VPA-treated cells. Among the calves from treated group, one stillborn calf was delivered at day 270 of gestation whereas the other one was delivered at term but died shortly after birth. Among the calves from the control group, one died seven days after birth whereas the other two are still alive and healthy. Altogether, these results show that in spite of the alterations in fibroblasts resulting from the treatment with VPA, their use as donor cells in SCNT did not improve pre- and post-implantation development of cloned cattle.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(6):e101022. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The in vitro production of porcine embryos has presented numerous challenges to researchers over the past four decades. Some of the problems encountered were specific to porcine gametes and embryos and needed the concerted efforts of many to overcome. Gradually, porcine embryo in vitro production systems became more reliable and acceptable rates of blastocyst formation were achieved. Despite the significant improvements, the problem of polyspermic fertilization has still not been adequately resolved and the embryo in vitro culture conditions are still considered to be suboptimal. Whereas early studies focused on increasing our understanding of the reproductive processes involved, the technology evolved to the point where in vitro-matured oocytes and in vitro-produced embryos could be used as research material for developing associated reproductive technologies, such as SCNT and embryo cryopreservation. Today, the in vitro procedures used to mature oocytes and culture embryos are integral to the production of transgenic pigs by SCNT. This review discusses the major achievements, advances, and knowledge gained from porcine embryo in vitro production studies and highlights the future research perspectives of this important technology.Theriogenology 01/2014; 81(1):24–37. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) is a promising method to clone endangered animals from which oocytes are difficult to obtain. Monomeric red fluorescent protein 1 (mRFP1) is an excellent selection marker for transgenically modified cloned embryos during somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). In this study, mRFP-expressing rhesus monkey cells or porcine cells were transferred into enucleated porcine oocytes to generate iSCNT and SCNT embryos, respectively. The development of these embryos was studied in vitro. The percentage of embryos that underwent cleavage did not significantly differ between iSCNT and SCNT embryos (P>0.05; 71.53% vs. 80.30%). However, significantly fewer iSCNT embryos than SCNT embryos reached the blastocyst stage (2.04% vs. 10.19%, P<0.05). Valproic acid was used in an attempt to increase the percentage of iSCNT embryos that developed to the blastocyst stage. However, the percentages of embryos that underwent cleavage and reached the blastocyst stage were similar between untreated iSCNT embryos and iSCNT embryos treated with 2 mM valproic acid for 24 h (72.12% vs. 70.83% and 2.67% vs. 2.35%, respectively). These data suggest that porcine-rhesus monkey interspecies embryos can be generated that efficiently express mRFP1. However, a significantly lower proportion of iSCNT embryos than SCNT embryos reach the blastocyst stage. Valproic acid does not increase the percentage of porcine-rhesus monkey iSCNT embryos that reach the blastocyst stage. The mechanisms underling nuclear reprogramming and epigenetic modifications in iSCNT need to be investigated further.Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2014; · 2.41 Impact Factor