Influence of nitric oxide during maturation on bovine oocyte meiosis and embryo development in vitro

Kátia R L Schwarz, Pedro R L Pires, Paulo R Adona, Tiago H Câmara de Bem, Cláudia L V Leal
Reproduction, Fertility, and Development 2008, 20 (4): 529-36
The effect of s-nitroso-n-acetyl-l,l-penicillamine (SNAP, a nitric oxide donor) during in vitro maturation (IVM) on nuclear maturation and embryo development was investigated. The effect of increasing nitric oxide (NO) during prematuration or maturation, or both, on embryo development was also assessed. 10(-3) m SNAP nearly blocked oocytes reaching metaphase II (MII) (7%, P < 0.05) while 10(-5) m SNAP showed intermediate proportions (55%). For 10(-7) m SNAP and controls (without SNAP), MII percentages were similar (72% for both, P > 0.05), but superior to the other treatment groups (P < 0.05). Blastocyst development, however, was not affected (38% for all treatments, P < 0.05). TUNEL-positive cells in hatched blastocysts (Day 9) increased when IVM included 10(-5) m SNAP (8 v. 3 to 4 cells in the other treatments, P > 0.05), without affecting total cell numbers (240 to 291 cells, P > 0.05). When oocytes were prematured followed by IVM with or without 10(-7) m SNAP, during either culture period or both, blastocyst development was similar (26 to 40%, P > 0.05). When SNAP was included during both prematuration and IVM, the proportion of Day 9 hatched embryos increased (28% v. 14 to 19% in the other treatments, P < 0.05). Apoptotic cells, however, increased when SNAP was included (6 to 10 cells) in comparison to prematuration and maturation without SNAP (3 cells, P < 0.05). NO may be involved in meiotic progression and apoptosis during embryo development.

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