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Biol Reprod. 2013 Sep 27;89(3):68. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.113.110577. Print 2013 Sep.

The effect of cilostamide on gap junction communication dynamics, chromatin remodeling, and competence acquisition in pig oocytes following parthenogenetic activation and nuclear transfer.

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Avantea, Laboratory of Reproductive Technologies, Cremona, Italy.


In the pig, the efficiency of in vitro embryo production and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) procedures remains limited. It has been suggested that prematuration treatments (pre-IVM) based on the prolongation of a patent, bidirectional crosstalk between the oocyte and the cumulus cells through gap junction mediate communication (GJC), with the maintenance of a proper level of cAMP, could improve the developmental capability of oocytes. The aim of this study was to assess: 1) dose-dependent effects of cilostamide on nuclear maturation kinetics, 2) the relationship between treatments on GJC functionality and large-scale chromatin configuration changes, and 3) the impact of treatments on developmental competence acquisition after parthenogenetic activation (PA) and SCNT. Accordingly, cumulus-oocyte complexes were collected from 3- to 6-mm antral follicles and cultured for 24 h in defined culture medium with or without 1 μM cilostamide. GJC functionality was assessed by Lucifer yellow microinjection, while chromatin configuration was evaluated by fluorescence microscopy after nuclear staining. Cilostamide administration sustained functional coupling for up to 24 h of culture and delayed meiotic resumption, as only 25.6% of cilostamide-treated oocytes reached the pro-metaphase I stage compared to the control (69.7%; P < 0.05). Moreover, progressive chromatin condensation was delayed before meiotic resumption based upon G2/M biomarker phosphoprotein epitope acquisition using immunolocalization. Importantly, cilostamide treatment under these conditions improved oocyte developmental competence, as reflected in higher blastocyst quality after both parthenogenetic activation and SCNT.


PDE3; SCNT; chromatin; cumulus cells; cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP); embryonic development; gamete biology; gap junctions; meiosis; oocyte; parthenogenetic activation; phosphodiesterases; porcine/pig

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