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Mol Reprod Dev. 2006 Dec;73(12):1523-30.

Anti-apoptotic effect of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and its receptor in porcine preimplantation embryos derived from in vitro fertilization and somatic cell nuclear transfer.

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  • 1Department of Theriogenology and Biotechnology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.


Insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I is a receptor-mediated autocrine and/or paracrine growth and/or survival factor for mammalian embryo development. It is known to promote the growth and development of mouse preimplantation embryos. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of IGF-I (50 ng/ml), anti-IGF-I receptor antibody (50 ng/ml) and their combination on porcine preimplantation embryo development. Furthermore, the mechanism underlying the embryotropic effects of IGF-I was evaluated by monitoring the incidence of apoptosis and expression of apoptosis-related genes. In both in vitro fertilized (IVF) and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos, culturing with IGF-I increased the rate of blastocyst formation and this embryotrophic effect was neutralized by culturing with IGF-I along with anti-IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR) antibody. Culturing IVF and SCNT embryos with IGF-I significantly increased the number of total cells in blastocysts and decreased the number of apoptotic nuclei. These effects of IGF-I were also neutralized by culturing with IGF-I along with anti-IGF-IR antibody. Expression of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 gene was increased, while expression of the pro-apoptotic Bax was decreased in both IVF and SCNT embryos cultured with IGF-I. In both IVF and SCNT embryos, anti-IGF-IR antibody along with IGF-I neutralized the effect of IGF-I on expression of Bcl-2 and Bax genes. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that IGF-I through its specific receptors improved the developmental competence of IVF and SCNT embryos by decreasing the incidence of apoptosis and regulating apoptosis-related genes in porcine preimplantation embryos.

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