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174 Effects of Melatonin on In Vitro Maturation of Bovine Oocytes and Gene Expression in Cumulus Cells: Preliminary Results

Castro, F. C., Schefer, L., Schwarz, K. L., Fernandes, H., Botigelli, R. C., Paschoal, D. M., Leal, C. L. V.
Reproduction, fertility, and development 2018 v.30 no.1 pp. 226-227
RNA, actin, analysis of variance, animal reproduction, anti-inflammatory activity, antioxidant activity, antioxidants, apoptosis, carbon dioxide, cattle, complementary DNA, embryogenesis, follicle-stimulating hormone, gene expression, genes, gentamicin, in vitro culture, luteinizing hormone, melatonin, oocytes, oxidative stress, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcription, slaughterhouses, sodium bicarbonate, sodium pyruvate
Melatonin mediates several processes in animal reproduction and has drawn attention for its potent antioxidant, anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory action and, more recently, for its benefits on oocyte maturation and embryo development in vitro. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of melatonin during the in vitro maturation (IVM) on nuclear maturation of bovine oocytes and gene expression in their corresponding cumulus cells (CC). Bovine cumulus–oocyte complexes (COC) were obtained by aspiration of follicles (2-6mm) from slaughterhouse ovaries, selected (grades I and II) and transferred to 4 well plates (25-30 COC/well) containing IVM medium [TCM-199 supplemented with sodium bicarbonate (26mM), sodium pyruvate (0.25mM), FSH (0.5 µgmL-1), LH (5.0 µgmL-1), 0.3% BSA, and gentamicin (50 µgmL-1)] with 0, 10-5, 10-7, 10-9 or 10-11 M melatonin and cultured for 24h at 38.5°C and 5% CO2. At the end of IVM, oocytes were stained with Hoechst 33342 (10 μgmL-1) and evaluated for nuclear maturation rate. The CC were evaluated for the expression of antioxidant (SOD1, SOD2, GPX4), pro-apoptotic (P53, BAX) and expansion-related genes (PTX3, HAS1, HAS2). For transcript detection in CC, RNA isolation was performed with TRIzol®Reagent (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA, USA) and reverse transcription with High Capacity cDNA Reverse Transcription kit (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA, USA). Relative quantification of transcripts was performed by RT-qPCR using 3 endogenous controls (β-actin, GAPDH, PPIA). Nuclear maturation rate and gene expression were tested by ANOVA and means were compared by Tukey’s test (6 replicates). In CC, the different concentrations of melatonin did not significantly alter expression of the investigated genes (P>0.05), although all concentrations provided a numerical increase in the expression of the antioxidant SOD1 and of the expansion-related genes PTX3 and HAS2. Regarding the pro-apoptotic genes, concentrations of 10-11 and 10-9 M were able to reduce only numerically the expression of BAX and P53, respectively. In oocytes, the rate of nuclear maturation was not different among the tested treatments (P>0.05), but it was numerically higher in the 10-7 M melatonin treated group compared with the control (69.71±13.76% v. 88.1±12.54%). In conclusion, under the studied conditions, melatonin was unable to improve maturation rate or to affect the expression of antioxidant, pro-apoptotic, and expansion-related genes in CC. Melatonin during IVM has shown variable results in different studies and appears to show different effects depending on culture conditions and parameters studied. In order to take advantage of the possible positive antioxidant effects of melatonin, other culture conditions and parameters should be investigated. In a next step, melatonin will be included during in vitro culture of embryos to evaluate its possible cytoprotective role, because such embryos are more exposed to oxidative stress during in vitro culture, and to investigate its benefits on developmental competence in vitro. This reaesrch was funded by FAPESP (2015/20379-0; 2014/17181-0).