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Theriogenology. 2013 Nov;80(8):914-22. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2013.07.018. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Expression pattern of glucose metabolism genes in relation to development rate of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) oocytes and in vitro-produced embryos.

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Animal Genomics Laboratory, Animal Biotechnology Centre, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, 132001 Haryana, India.


The expression pattern of glucose metabolism genes (hexokinase, phosphofructokinase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase [G6PDH], lactate dehydrogenase [LDH], and pyruvate dehydrogenase [PDH]) were studied in buffalo in vitro-matured oocytes and in vitro-produced embryos cultured under different glucose concentrations (0 mM, 1.5 mM, 5.6 mM, and 10 mM) during in vitro maturation of oocytes and culture of IVF produced embryos. The expression of the genes varied significantly over the cleavage stages under different glucose concentrations. Developmental rate of embryos was highest under a constant glucose level (5.6 mM) throughout during maturation of oocytes and embryo culture. Expression pattern of glucose metabolism genes under optimum glucose level (5.6 mM) indicated that glycolysis is the major pathway of glucose metabolism during oocyte maturation and early embryonic stages (pre-maternal to zygotic transition [MZT]) and shifts to oxidative phosphorylation during post-MZT stages in buffalo embryos. Higher glucose level (10 mM) caused abrupt changes in gene expression and resulted in shifting toward anaerobic metabolism of glucose during post-MZT stages. This resulted in decreased development rate of embryos during post-MZT stages. High expression of LDH and PDH in the control groups (0 mM glucose) indicated that in absence of glucose, embryos try to use available pyruvate and lactate sources, but succumb to handle the post-MZT energy requirement, resulting to poor development rate. Expression pattern of G6PDH during oocyte maturation as well early embryonic development was found predictive of quality and development competence of oocytes/ embryos.


Buffalo embryos; G6PDH; Glucose metabolism; Glycolysis; Oxidative phosphorylation

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