[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modifying electrical activation conditions have been used to improve in vitro embryo production and development in pigs. However, there is insufficient information about correlations of porcine embryo development with oocyte pre- and post-activation conditions. The purpose of this study was to compare the developmental rates of porcine oocytes subjected to different mannitol exposure times, either pre- or post-electrical activation, and to elucidate the reason for the optimal mannitol exposure time. Mannitol exposure times around activation were adjusted as 0, 1, 2 or 3 min. Blastocyst development were checked on day 7. Exposure of oocytes to mannitol for 1 or 2 min before electrical activation produced significantly higher blastocyst rates than exposure for 0 or 3 min. There was no significant difference in blastocyst rates when activated oocytes were exposed to mannitol for 0, 1, 2 or 3 min after electrical activation. While exposure of oocytes to mannitol for 1 min pre- and 3 min post-activation showed significantly higher blastocyst development than 0 min pre- and 0 min post-activation. It also showed higher maintenance of normal oocyte morphology than exposure for 0 min pre- and 0 min post-activation. In conclusion, exposure of oocytes to mannitol for 1 min pre- and 3 min post-activation seems to be optimal for producing higher in vitro blastocyst development of porcine parthenogenetic embryos. The higher blastocyst development is correlated with higher maintenance of normal morphology in oocytes exposed to mannitol for 1 min pre- and 3 min post-activation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Summary The presence of glutamine (Gln) in in vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro culture (IVC) medium is a more potent factor for improving porcine oocyte and embryo development than other amino acids. However Gln is inherently unstable and spontaneously breaks down into ammonia, and therefore interferes with proper development. To avoid this adverse effect, Gln was replaced in the present study with its stable dipeptide derivative alanyl-glutamine (Ala-Gln) and the effects of this replacement on porcine IVM and IVC were evaluated. Replacement of Gln with Ala-Gln during IVM did not improve nuclear maturation, however numbers of early cleaved embryos were significantly increased after activation. Blastocyst formation rates were also significantly improved by using Ala-Gln during IVM. Replacement of Gln with Ala-Gln during IVC significantly increased total cell numbers in blastocysts. Blastocyst formation rate was also significantly higher when Ala-Gln was used in both IVM and IVC. In conclusion, the use of Ala-Gln rather than Gln gives better results for development in both porcine IVM and IVC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Quercetin is a plant-derived flavonoid found in fruits or vegetables that has antioxidant properties and acts as a free radical scavenger. We investigated the effects of quercetin on porcine oocyte nuclear maturation and embryonic development after parthenogenetic activation. We then evaluated the antioxidant activities of quercetin by measuring reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels during oocyte maturation. Immature oocytes were untreated or treated with 1, 10, and 50 μg/mL quercetin during in vitro maturation (IVM). Quercetin treatment did not improve oocyte nuclear maturation, but significantly higher blastocyst rates (p < 0.05) of parthenogenetically activated oocytes were achieved when the IVM medium was supplemented with an adequate concentration of quercetin (1 μg/mL). However, cleavage rates and blastocyst cell numbers were not affected. Oocytes treated with 1 or 10 μg/mL quercetin had significantly lower (p < 0.05) levels of ROS than the control and group treated with the highest concentration of queretin (50 μg/mL). Moreover, this highest concentration was detrimental to oocyte nuclear maturation and blastocyst formation. Based on our findings, we concluded that exogenous quercetin reduces ROS levels during oocyte maturation and is beneficial for subsequent embryo development.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Journal of veterinary science (Suwŏn-si, Korea)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kisspeptin (Kp) is best known as a multifunctional peptide with roles in reproduction, the cardiovascular system and cancer. In the present study the expression of kisspeptin hierarchy elements (KISS1, GNRH1 and LHB) and their receptors (KISS1R, GNRHR and LHCGR, respectively) in porcine ovary and in cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were investigated, as were its effects on the in vitro maturation (IVM) of oocytes and their subsequent ability to sustain preimplantation embryo competence after parthenogenetic electrical activation. Kp system elements were expressed and affected IVM of oocytes when maturation medium was supplemented with 10(-6)M Kp. Oocyte maturation, maternal gene expression (MOS, GDF9 and BMP15), blastocyst formation rate, blastocyst hatching and blastocyst total cell count were all significantly increased when oocytes were matured in medium containing Kp compared with the control group (without Kp). A Kp antagonist (p234) at 4×10(-6)M interfered with this hierarchy but did not influence the threshold effect of gonadotrophins on oocyte maturation. FSH was critical and permissive to Kp action on COCs by increasing the relative expression of KISS1R. In contrast, Kp significantly increased apoptosis, the expression of pro-apoptotic gene, BAK1, and suppressed trophoblast outgrowths from hatched blastocysts cultured on feeder cells. The present study provides the first functional evidence of the Kp hierarchy in porcine COCs and its role in enhancing oocyte maturation and subsequent developmental competence in an autocrine-paracrine manner. However, Kp supplementation may have a harmful impact on cultured hatched blastocysts reflecting systemic or local regulation during the critical early period of embryonic development.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Reproduction Fertility and Development
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The oocyte is known from recent studies in the mouse, cow, sheep and human to be a central regulator of follicular cell function. However, in the pig, little information is known about the regulation of cumulus expansion by oocyte-secreted factors and oocyte quality. We investigated the possible effects of oocyte-secreted factors during in vitro maturation on cumulus expansion and on porcine oocytes as judged by subsequent embryonic development after parthenogenetic activation. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC) from antral follicles of pig ovaries collected from a local abattoir were divided into control and treatment groups and were cultured in tissue culture medium 199 supplemented with follicle-stimulating hormone. Treatment groups consisted of increasing numbers of denuded oocytes (DO) co-cultured with COC (at ratios of COC to DO of 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4 and 1:5). After incubation for 44 h, cumulus expansion and maturation rates were assessed and oocytes were activated parthenogenetically. Cumulus expansion in the 1 COC:4 DO and 1 COC:5 DO groups was low and altered because full dispersion of the outer layer did not occur. Cell viability was not affected, as measured by the automated cell counter, but scanning electron microscopy revealed only a scanty extracellular matrix. Blastocyst rate was significantly higher in the 1 COC:4 DO (34.4%) and in the 1 COC:5 DO (34.9%) groups (p < 0.05) when compared with other groups. Maturation rate, cleavage rate and total cell number showed no significant difference between control and treatment groups. Amplification by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed up-regulation of growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) in the cumulus cells in the 1 COC:4 DO group at 44 h. We conclude that denuded porcine oocytes could improve the maturation of COC as evidenced by increased blastocyst development in the 1 COC:4 DO, even though cumulus expansion was poor. This improvement could be a result of the GDF9 up-regulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In non-human primates, it is difficult to collect sufficient numbers of oocytes for producing identical embryos by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Because of this factor, inter-species SCNT (iSCNT) using heterospecific oocytes is an attractive alternative approach. The objective of this study was to produce iSCNT-derived blastocysts using enucleated cow (Bos taurus) metaphase II oocytes and adult rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) fibroblasts. Ear skin tissue from a 6-year-old male rhesus monkey was collected by biopsy and fibroblasts were isolated. Immature cumulus-oocyte complexes from cow ovaries were collected and matured in vitro in Medium 199. The enucleated oocytes were reconstructed with rhesus monkey fibroblasts and iSCNT embryos were cultured in modified synthetic oviduct fluid in an atmosphere of 5-5.5% CO2 under various conditions (37-39 °C and 5-20% O2) to examine the effects of in vitro culture conditions. Most embryos were arrested at the 8- or 16-cell stage and only three blastocysts were derived in this way using iSCNT from a total of 1153 cultured activated embryos (0.26% production rate). Two of the three blastocysts were used for counting nuclear numbers using bisbenzimide staining, which were 51 and 24. The other iSCNT-derived blastocyst was used to analyse mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) by PCR, and both rhesus monkey and cow mtDNA were detected. Although the development rate was extremely low, this study established that iSCNT using two phylogenetically distant species, including a primate, could produce blastocysts. With improvements in the development rate, it may be possible to produce rhesus monkey iSCNT-derived embryonic stem cell lines for studies on primate nucleus and cow mitochondria interaction mechanisms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The addition of 9-cis retinoic acid to the oocyte maturation culture medium has a beneficial effect on in vitro fertilized embryos. However, the mechanism of this activity is not known. Therefore, this study was done to elucidate the effect of 9-cis retinoic acid on parthenogenetic embryo production and its signaling pathway and molecular function during in vitro maturation of porcine cumulus cell-oocyte complexes (COCs). Concentrations of 0, 5, 50, and 500 nM 9-cis retinoic acid were added to the in vitro maturation medium, and the embryos were assessed after parthenogenetic activation. Cumulus cells and oocytes from the in vitro matured COCs were separated and subjected to RT-PCR and real-time RT-PCR for detecting retinoic acid receptors and measuring expression of prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase1 and 2. The addition of 5 nM 9-cis retinoic acid to the maturation medium was beneficial for parthenogenetic embryo production. The effect of 9-cis retinoic acid was exerted directly through the oocytes via the retinoic acid receptor alpha and retinoid X receptor gamma signaling pathways and indirectly through the cumulus cells by the retinoic acid receptor beta and gamma and retinoid X receptor alpha and beta signaling pathways. The addition of 5 nM 9-cis retinoic acid-stimulated cumulus cells reaches full expansion by suppressing their excessive expression of prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2. This study shows that 9-cis retinoic acid can exert its beneficial effect on parthenogenetic embryo production in pigs by multidimensional pathways affecting oocyte maturation.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2011 · Biology of Reproduction
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment with 6-dimethylaminopurine (6-DMAP) or demecolcine (DE) for several (at least 2) hours after artificial activation is known to improve in vitro development of porcine embryos. However, several reports have also shown that treatments with these chemicals induce apoptosis. The aim of this study was to find out whether short-term treatment with 6-DMAP and DE combined with electrical or thimerosal/dithiothreitol (Thi/DTT) activation had a beneficial effect on development of parthenogenetically activated porcine oocytes. We additionally treated embryos with 6-DMAP (2 mM) and/or DE (0.4 microg/ml) for a short time (40 min) after an electrical pulse (EP) or Thi/DTT. As a result, short-term treatment with 6-DMAP and DE successfully induced development of electrically or Thi/DTT-activated porcine parthenogenetic embryos with no significant difference in cleavage rate, blastocyst formation rate and total cell number compared with long-term treatment. To find optimal activation protocol, cleavage rate, blastocyst formation rate and total cell number were compared between EP and Thi/DTT treatments. Thi/DTT + 6-DMAP + DE showed significantly higher blastocyst formation rate (36.1 ± 3.5%) and total cell number (46.9 ± 1.0) than other groups (EP + 6-DMAP + DE, EP + Thi/DTT + 6-DMAP + DE: 23.3 ± 3.0%, 42.2 ± 1.1 and 17.2 ± 2.7%, 36.7 ± 1.5, respectively). In conclusion, this study demonstrates that short-term treatment with 6-DMAP and DE is as effective as the standard long-term treatment and Thi/DTT + 6-DMAP + DE exerts a synergistic effect.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The miniature pig is regarded as a better organ donor breed for xenotransplantation than other pig breeds because the size of their organs is similar to that of humans. To improve efficiency of cloned miniature pig production, we analysed the effect of breed difference between donor cells and embryo recipients on pregnancy rate and delivery rate. Cloned porcine embryos derived from domestic or miniature pig donor cells were transferred to domestic or miniature recipient pigs. Delivery rate was significantly higher when embryos reconstructed with miniature pig donor cells were transferred to miniature pig recipients as compared with that of embryos transferred to domestic pig recipients. However, pregnancy rates were similar between the two groups. The breed of donor cells, but not of embryo recipients, seems likely to affect litter size. From a 13 610 gene cDNA microarray, 1551 (11.7%) genes showed significantly different levels of expression between the fetuses of the two breeds. Vascular endothelial growth factor and c-kit ligand genes related to implantation and maintenance of pregnancy were significantly down-regulated in miniature pigs. In conclusion, the differential gene expression in fetuses interferes with proper fetal/maternal interactions, and results in late-stage pregnancy loss. Our results indicate that the miniature pig is the preferred embryo recipient breed than domestic pig for producing cloned miniature piglets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have established a new 4 stage epiblast isolation method from whole bovine cloned blastocysts without using immunosurgery. The new "peeling" method consists of dissolution of the zona pellucida (first stage), elimination of mural trophoblast (second stage), isolation of primitive endoderm and epiblast from polar trophoblast (third stage), and isolation of epiblast from primitive endoderm (fourth stage). The bovine cloned blastocyst consists of 4 different types of cells showing abundant alkaline phosphatase activity. The epiblast origin of isolated cells was confirmed by in vitro differentiation of isolated cells to tubulin beta3-positive neurons and by embryoid body formation. The bovine cloned blastocyst origin of isolated epiblasts was confirmed by microsatellite analysis and mitochondrial DNA sequencing analysis. This new method might accelerate establishment of somatic cell nuclear transfer derived embryonic stem cell lines from bovine and other mammals.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Cell Biology International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patient-specific, immune-matched human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are anticipated to be of great biomedical importance for studies of disease and development and to advance clinical deliberations regarding stem cell transplantation. Eleven hESC lines were established by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) of skin cells from patients with disease or injury into donated oocytes. These lines, nuclear transfer (NT)-hESCs, grown on human feeders from the same NT donor or from genetically unrelated individuals, were established at high rates, regardless of NT donor sex or age. NT-hESCs were pluripotent, chromosomally normal, and matched the NT patient's DNA. The major histocompatibility complex identity of each NT-hESC when compared to the patient's own showed immunological compatibility, which is important for eventual transplantation. With the generation of these NT-hESCs, evaluations of genetic and epigenetic stability can be made. Additional work remains to be done regarding the development of reliable directed differentiation and the elimination of remaining animal components. Before clinical use of these cells can occur, preclinical evidence is required to prove that transplantation of differentiated NT-hESCs can be safe, effective, and tolerated.