Retinoids during the in vitro transition from bovine morula to blastocyst

Genética y Reproducción, SERIDA, Gijón, Asturias, Spain.
Human Reproduction (Impact Factor: 4.59). 09/2006; 21(8):2149-57. DOI: 10.1093/humrep/del099
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The conversion of retinol (ROH) to retinoic acid (RA) is crucial during development but has been not studied during blastocyst formation.
In vitro-produced bovine morulae were treated for 24 h with citral (which inhibits the synthesis of RA from ROH), citral + all trans retinoic acid (ATRA), ATRA or no additives. Citral interfered with blastocyst development, whereas exogenous RA had no effect. RA, however, reversed the effect of citral on development and stimulated cell proliferation. Neither citral nor RA changed the apoptotic index, but RA triggered an increase in the apoptotic frequency of the inner cell mass. Citral and RA reduced the necrotic index. Na/K-ATPase alpha1-subunit mRNA concentrations (analysed by real-time PCR) increased after hatching and showed dependence on retinoid activity, but no evidence was found of any retinoid effect on p53 expression. Nevertheless, the p53 mRNA concentration increased in response to proliferation in hatched blastocysts.
The preimplantation bovine embryo metabolizes endogenous ROH to RA, which participates in important cell processes. The true extent of the influence of RA is unknown, although the modulation of retinoid metabolism seems to be a means of increasing cell proliferation. This knowledge might be used to improve embryo quality and the efficiency of stem cell derivation.

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