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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(11), 13911-13925;

Injurious Effects of Emodin on Maturation of Mouse Oocytes, Fertilization and Fetal Development via Apoptosis

Department of Bioscience Technology and Center for Nanotechnology, Chung Yuan Christian University, Chung Li 32023, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 September 2012 / Revised: 25 October 2012 / Accepted: 25 October 2012 / Published: 29 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Collection Programmed Cell Death and Apoptosis)
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Emodin (1,3,8-trihydroxy-6-methylanthraquinone), a major constituent of rhubarb, has a wide range of therapeutic applications. Previous studies have established that emodin induces apoptosis in the inner cell mass and trophectoderm of mouse blastocysts and leads to decreased embryonic development and viability, indicating a role as an injury risk factor for normal embryonic development. However, the mechanisms underlying its hazardous effects have yet to be characterized. In the current study, we further investigated the effects of emodin on oocyte maturation and subsequent pre- and post-implantation development, both in vitro and in vivo. Notably, emodin induced a significant reduction in the rates of oocyte maturation, fertilization, and in vitro embryonic development. Treatment of oocytes with emodin during in vitro maturation (IVM) led to increased resorption of postimplantation embryos and decreased fetal weight. Experiments using an in vivo mouse model disclosed that consumption of drinking water containing 20–40 μM emodin led to decreased oocyte maturation and in vitro fertilization, as well as early embryonic developmental injury. Notably, pretreatment with a caspase-3-specific inhibitor effectively prevented emodin-triggered injury effects, suggesting that impairment of embryo development occurs via a caspase-dependent apoptotic process. View Full-Text
Keywords: emodin; apoptosis; oocyte maturation; embryonic development emodin; apoptosis; oocyte maturation; embryonic development
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chang, M.-H.; Chang, S.-C.; Chan, W.-H. Injurious Effects of Emodin on Maturation of Mouse Oocytes, Fertilization and Fetal Development via Apoptosis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 13911-13925.

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