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Molecules 2018, 23(2), 494; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23020494

Melatonin-Mediated Development of Ovine Cumulus Cells, Perhaps by Regulation of DNA Methylation

1
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Research Institute of Tianjin, Tianjin 300381, China
2
Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Grassland Farming, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agoecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changchun, Jilin 130062, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproduction Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100101, China
These authors contributed equally to this paper.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 16 February 2018 / Published: 23 February 2018
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Abstract

Cumulus cells of pre-pubertal domestic animals are dysfunctional, perhaps due to age-specific epigenetic events. This study was designed to determine effects of melatonin treatment of donors on methylation modification of pre-pubertal cumulus cells. Cumulus cells from germinal vesicle stage cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) were collected from eighteen lambs which were randomly divided into control group (C) and melatonin group given an 18 mg melatonin implant subcutaneous (M). Compared to the C group, the M group had higher concentrations of melatonin in plasma and follicular fluid (p < 0.05), greater superovulation, a higher proportion of fully expanded COCs, and a lower proportion of apoptotic cumulus cells (p < 0.05). Real-time PCR results showed that melatonin up-regulated expression of genes MT1, Bcl2, DNMT1, DNMT3a and DNMT3b, but down-regulated expression of genes p53, Caspase 3 and Bax (p < 0.05). Furthermore, melatonin increased FI of FITC (global methylation level) on cumulus cells (p < 0.05). To understand the regulation mechanism, the DNMTs promoter methylation sequence were analyzed. Compared to the C group, although there was less methylation at two CpG sites of DNMT1 (p < 0.05) and higher methylation at two CpG sites of DNMT3a (p < 0.05), there were no significant differences in methylation of the detected DNMT1 and DNMT3a promoter regions. However, there were lower methylation levels at five CpG sites of DNMT3b, which decreased methylation of detected DNMT3b promoter region on M group (p < 0.05). In conclusion, alterations of methylation regulated by melatonin may mediate development of cumulus cells in lambs. View Full-Text
Keywords: melatonin; cumulus cells; methylation; methyltransferases; lamb melatonin; cumulus cells; methylation; methyltransferases; lamb
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Fang, Y.; Deng, S.; Zhang, J.; Liu, H.; Li, Y.; Zhang, X.; Liu, Y. Melatonin-Mediated Development of Ovine Cumulus Cells, Perhaps by Regulation of DNA Methylation. Molecules 2018, 23, 494.

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