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J Reprod Dev. 2014 Apr 24;60(2):128-35. Epub 2014 Feb 4.

The association of mitochondrial potential and copy number with pig oocyte maturation and developmental potential.

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Department of Animal Sciences, Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, 361-763, South Korea.


ATP is critical for oocyte maturation, fertilization, and subsequent embryo development. Both mitochondrial membrane potential and copy number expand during oocyte maturation. In order to differentiate the roles of mitochondrial metabolic activity and mtDNA copy number during oocyte maturation, we used two inhibitors, FCCP (carbonyl cyanide p-(tri-fluromethoxy)phenyl-hydrazone) and ddC (2'3-dideoxycytidine), to deplete the mitochondrial membrane potential (Δφm) and mitochondrial copy number, respectively. FCCP (2000 nM) reduced ATP production by affecting mitochondrial Δφm, decreased the mRNA expression of Bmp15 (bone morphogenetic protein 15), and shortened the poly(A) tails of Bmp15, Gdf9 (growth differentiation factor 9), and Cyclin B1 transcripts. FCCP (200 and 2000 nM) also affected p34(cdc2) kinase activity. By contrast, ddC did not alter ATP production. Instead, ddC significantly decreased mtDNA copy number (P < 0.05). FCCP (200 and 2000 nM) also decreased extrusion of the first polar body, whereas ddC at all concentrations did not affect the ability of immature oocytes to reach metaphase II. Both FCCP (200 and 2000 nM) and ddC (200 and 2000 µM) reduced parthenogenetic blastocyst formation compared with untreated oocytes. However, these inhibitors did not affect total cell number and apoptosis. These findings suggest that mitochondrial metabolic activity is critical for oocyte maturation and that both mitochondrial metabolic activity and replication contribute to the developmental competence of porcine oocytes.

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