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36 The effects of E-64 on the developmental competence of porcine oocytes vitrified at the germinal vesicle stage

Somfai, T., Nguyen, H. T., Men, N. T., Dang-Nguyen, T. Q., Kaneko, H., Noguchi, J., Nagai, T., Kikuchi, K.
Reproduction, fertility, and development 2019 v.31 no.1 pp. 144
analysis of variance, apoptosis, blastocyst, carbon dioxide, cathepsin B, cattle, cyclic AMP, epidermal growth factor, equine chorionic gonadotropin, germinal vesicle, human chorionic gonadotropin, immatures, multiple comparison test, oils, oocyte vitrification, oxygen, reproduction, survival rate, swine, vitrification, zygote
Previous studies reported the activation of the apoptotic cascade by vitrification in mature porcine oocytes (Vallorani et al. 2012 Anim. Reprod. Sci. 135, 68-74) and that the cathepsin B inhibitor E-64 improved developmental competence of bovine oocytes via an antiapoptotic effect (Balboula et al. 2013 Reproduction 146, 407-417). The present study was carried out to test whether E-64 affected the developmental competency of porcine oocytes vitrified at the germinal vesicle stage. Cumulus-enclosed porcine oocytes were vitrified in microdrops and warmed by our method (Somfai et al. 2015 J. Reprod. Dev. 61, 571-579). Then, the oocytes were subjected to in vitro maturation (IVM) for 46h in a chemically defined porcine oocyte medium supplemented with 10ng mL−1 of epidermal growth factor, 10IU mL−1 of eCG, and 10IU mL−1 of hCG and during the first 22h of IVM with 1mM dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate. Then, cumulus-oocyte complexes were fertilized in vitro and presumptive zygotes were cultured in 50-µL drops of porcine zygote medium-3 for 7 days in 6-well dishes covered by paraffin oil in an atmosphere of 5% CO2, 5% O2, and 90% N2 at 39°C. On Day 5 (Day 0=IVF), the porcine zygote medium-3 was supplemented with 10% (vol/vol) FCS. The effects of 1.0μM of E-64 supplementation during IVM of non-vitrified and vitrified cumulus-oocyte complexes were investigated in a 2×2 factorial design. Survival rates after IVM, cleavage rates on Day 2, blastocyst rates, and total cell numbers in blastocysts on Day 7 were compared among groups. The experiment was replicated 5 times. Results were analysed by ANOVA and Tukey’s multiple comparison test. The percentages of live oocytes were statistically similar when oocytes were matured in the absence or presence of E-64 both in non-vitrified (99.2% v. 99.6%, respectively) and vitrified (94.3% v. 90.8%, respectively) groups. Similarly, IVM without or with E-64 supplementation had no effect on subsequent cleavage and blastocyst development rates in non-vitrified (67.4% v. 71.2% and 38.7% v. 43.2%, respectively) and vitrified (46.8% v. 48.8% and 14.6% v. 22.8%, respectively) oocytes. Irrespective of E-64 treatment, all survival and developmental rates in the vitrified groups were significantly lower (P<0.05) compared with those of their non-vitrified counterparts except for the blastocyst development rate in the E-64-treated vitrified group, which did not differ significantly from those of the non-vitrified groups with or without E-64 treatment. There was no statistical difference in mean blastocyst cell numbers among the groups, ranging between 86.5±15.8 and 118±10.6. In conclusion, E-64 treatment had no effect on embryo production rates, which suggests that in our system, cathepsin-mediated apoptosis during IVM might not be the factor to limit embryo production using either fresh oocytes or those vitrified at the immature stage. This work was supported by JST/JICA SATREPS.