Oviductal extracellular vesicles (oEVs) are emerging as key players in the gamete/embryo–oviduct interactions that contribute to successful pregnancy. Various positive effects of oEVs on gametes and early embryos have been found in vitro. To determine whether these effects are associated with changes of embryonic gene expression, the transcriptomes of embryos supplemented with bovine fresh (FeEVs) or frozen (FoEVs) oEVs during in vitro culture compared to controls without oEVs were analyzed by low-input RNA sequencing. Analysis of RNA-seq data revealed 221 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between FoEV treatment and control, 67 DEGs for FeEV and FoEV treatments, and minor differences between FeEV treatment and control (28 DEGs). An integrative analysis of mRNAs and miRNAs contained in oEVs obtained in a previous study with embryonic mRNA alterations pointed to direct effects of oEV cargo on embryos (1) by increasing the concentration of delivered transcripts; (2) by translating delivered mRNAs to proteins that regulate embryonic gene expression; and (3) by oEV-derived miRNAs which downregulate embryonic mRNAs or modify gene expression in other ways. Our study provided the first high-throughput analysis of the embryonic transcriptome regulated by oEVs, increasing our knowledge on the impact of oEVs on the embryo and revealing the oEV RNA components that potentially regulate embryonic development.
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