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Biol Reprod. 2011 Jul;85(1):62-9. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.110.088815. Epub 2011 Feb 10.

Oleic acid prevents detrimental effects of saturated fatty acids on bovine oocyte developmental competence.

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Department of Farm Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Mobilization of fatty acids from adipose tissue during metabolic stress will increase the amount of free fatty acids in blood and follicular fluid and, thus, may affect oocyte quality. In this in vitro study, the three predominant fatty acids in follicular fluid (saturated palmitic and stearic acid and unsaturated oleic acid) were presented to maturing oocytes to test whether fatty acids can affect lipid storage of the oocyte and developmental competence postfertilization. Palmitic and stearic acid had a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on the amount of fat stored in lipid droplets and a concomitant detrimental effect on oocyte developmental competence. Oleic acid, in contrast, had the opposite effect, causing an increase of lipid storage in lipid droplets and an improvement of oocyte developmental competence. Remarkably, the adverse effects of palmitic and stearic acid could be counteracted by oleic acid. These results suggest that the ratio and amount of saturated and unsaturated fatty acid is relevant for lipid storage in the maturing oocyte and that this relates to the developmental competence of maturing oocytes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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