Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) family genes are aberrantly expressed in bovine conceptuses produced in vitro or by nuclear transfer

K Moore, J M Kramer, C J Rodriguez-Sallaberry, J V Yelich, M Drost
Theriogenology 2007 September 15, 68 (5): 717-27
Embryos produced through somatic cell nuclear transfer (NT) or in vitro production (IVP) are often associated with increased abortion and abnormalities thought to arise from disruptions in normal gene expression. The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) family has a major influence on embryonic, fetal and placental development; differences in IGF expression in NT- and IVP-derived embryos may account for embryonic losses during placental attachment. In the present study, expression of IGF-I, IGF-II, IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR), and IGF-IIR mRNAs was quantitated in Day 7 and 25 bovine embryos produced in vivo, by NT, IVP, or parthenogenesis, to further understand divergent changes occurring during development. Expression of the IGF-I gene was not detected in Day 7 blastocysts for any treatment. However, there were no differences (P>0.10) among Day 7 treatments in the amounts of IGF-IR, IGF-II, and IGF-IIR mRNA. For Day 25 conceptuses, there was higher expression of IGF-I mRNA for NT and IVP embryonic tissues than for in vivo embryonic tissues (P<0.05). Furthermore, embryonic tissues from NT-derived embryos had higher expression of IGF-II mRNA than IVP embryonic tissues (P<0.05). Placental expression of IGF-IIR mRNA was greater for NT-derived than in vivo-derived embryos (P<0.05). There were no differences in IGF-IR mRNA across all treatments and tissues (P>0.10). In conclusion, these differences in growth factor gene expression during early placental attachment and rapid embryonic growth may directly or indirectly contribute to increased losses and abnormalities in IVP- and NT-derived embryos.

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