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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Melatonin on the In Vitro Maturation of Porcine Oocytes, Development of Parthenogenetically Activated Embryos, and Expression of Genes Related to the Oocyte Developmental Capability

by Ling Yang 1,†, Qingkai Wang 1,2,†, Maosheng Cui 2,*, Qianjun Li 2, Shuqin Mu 2 and Zimo Zhao 1,2
1
College of Life Sciences and Food Engineering, Hebei University of Engineering, Handan 056021, China
2
Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Research Institute of Tianjin, Tianjin 300412, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work as co-first author.
Animals 2020, 10(2), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020209
Received: 26 September 2019 / Revised: 23 January 2020 / Accepted: 24 January 2020 / Published: 27 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Reproduction)
Exogenous melatonin has beneficial effects on improving cumulus oophorus expansion; mitochondrial distribution; intracellular level of glutathione; and first polar body extrusion rate of porcine oocytes derived from in vitro maturation. Moreover; melatonin supplementation increases relative abundances of BMP15 and CAT mRNA; and decreases intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species; and expression values of P53 and BAX genes; which are related to in vitro development of porcine oocytes.
Melatonin treatment can improve quality and in vitro development of porcine oocytes, but the mechanism of improving quality and developmental competence is not fully understood. In this study, porcine cumulus–oocyte complexes were cultured in TCM199 medium with non-treated (control), 10−5 M luzindole (melatonin receptor antagonist), 10−5 M melatonin, and melatonin + luzindole during in vitro maturation, and parthenogenetically activated (PA) embryos were treated with nothing (control), or 10−5 M melatonin. Cumulus oophorus expansion, oocyte survival rate, first polar body extrusion rate, mitochondrial distribution, and intracellular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and glutathione of oocytes, and cleavage rate and blastocyst rate of the PA embryos were assessed. In addition, expression of growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9), tumor protein p53 (P53), BCL2 associated X protein (BAX), catalase (CAT), and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) were analyzed by real-time quantitative PCR. The results revealed that melatonin treatment not only improved the first polar body extrusion rate and cumulus expansion of oocytes via melatonin receptors, but also enhanced the rates of cleavage and blastocyst formation of PA embryos. Additionally, melatonin treatment significantly increased intraooplasmic level of glutathione independently of melatonin receptors. Furthermore, melatonin supplementation not only significantly enhanced mitochondrial distribution and relative abundances of BMP15 and CAT mRNA, but also decreased intracellular level of ROS and relative abundances of P53 and BAX mRNA of the oocytes. In conclusion, melatonin enhanced the quality and in vitro development of porcine oocytes, which may be related to antioxidant and anti-apoptotic mechanisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: melatonin; embryo; oocyte; pig melatonin; embryo; oocyte; pig
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Yang, L.; Wang, Q.; Cui, M.; Li, Q.; Mu, S.; Zhao, Z. Effect of Melatonin on the In Vitro Maturation of Porcine Oocytes, Development of Parthenogenetically Activated Embryos, and Expression of Genes Related to the Oocyte Developmental Capability. Animals 2020, 10, 209.

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