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Peroxidized mineral oil increases the oxidant status of culture media and inhibits in vitro porcine embryo development

Martinez, C.A., Nohalez, A., Ceron, J.J., Rubio, C.P., Roca, J., Cuello, C., Rodriguez-Martinez, H., Martinez, E.A., Gil, M.A.
Theriogenology 2017 v.103 pp. 17-23
blastocyst, chemical composition, culture media, embryogenesis, hydrogen peroxide, mineral oil, oocytes, oxidants, peroxide value, production technology, sunflower oil, swine, toxic substances, zygote
The use of oils with undetected alterations is a long-recognized problem for in vitro embryo production systems. Since peroxides in oils have been associated with reduced embryo production outcomes, our goals were (1) to evaluate the effects of a batch of mineral oil (MO) that was suspected to be altered on the in vitro production of pig embryos and (2) to determine oil peroxide values throughout culture and the transfer of oxidant agents from oil to culture media. Sunflower oil, which has a completely different chemical composition than MO but a higher oxidative status, and unaltered MO were used as controls.Oocyte maturation, fertilization and embryo development were affected differently depending on the oil overlay used. While the suspected MO was not able to sustain in vitro maturation and fertilization, the oocytes incubated in the presence of sunflower oil were matured and fertilized similarly to those of the unaltered MO group. Moreover, the cleavage rate of presumed zygotes cultured under the suspected MO was severely reduced compared with those cultured under the other oils, and none of the cleaved embryos developed to the blastocyst stage. Although the cleavage rates in the sunflower oil and unaltered MO groups were similar, embryos cultured under sunflower oil also failed to develop to the blastocyst stage. Our results revealed that the suspected MO and sunflower oil had similar levels of peroxides and that these levels were much higher than those of the unaltered MO. The total oxidant status was higher in media incubated under peroxidized oils than in fresh media or media incubated without an oil overlay or under unaltered MO, indicating that oxidant agents were transferred to the incubation media. However, unlike the sunflower oil group, the culture media incubated under the suspected MO had high levels of total oxidant status and low levels of hydrogen peroxide and reactive oxygen species, suggesting the presence of other unknown oxidant agents in that oil. These results indicate that a peroxidized MO overlay dramatically decreases embryo production outcomes. This decrease could be associated with the higher peroxide values of the oil but cannot be explained by the levels of hydrogen peroxide and reactive oxygen species transferred from the oil to the culture media. It is likely that different oxidant agent(s) and/or other toxic compounds present in the peroxidized MO are responsible for its damaging effects on oocytes and embryos.