Send to

Choose Destination
J Pineal Res. 2015 Oct;59(3):365-75. doi: 10.1111/jpi.12268.

Melatonin protects porcine oocyte in vitro maturation from heat stress.

Li Y1, Zhang Z1, He C1, Zhu K1, Xu Z1,2, Ma T1, Tao J1, Liu G1,3.

Author information

National Engineering Laboratory for Animal Breeding, Key Laboratory of Animal Genetics and Breeding of the Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing Key Laboratory for Animal Genetic Improvement, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.
College of Animal Science and Technology, Jilin Agricultural University, Changchun, Jilin, China.
College of Animal Science and Technology, Xinjiang Agricultural University, Wulumuqi, Xinjiang, China.


Melatonin is a pleiotropic molecule which plays an important role in animal reproductive activities. Because of the increased global warming, the impact of heat stress (HS) on stockbreeding has become an inevitable issue to be solved. To investigate the potential effects of melatonin on the in vitro maturation of porcine oocyte under the HS, a HS model for porcine oocyte maturation has been used in this study and the different concentrations of melatonin (10(-6) -10(-9)  m) were also tested for their protective effects on oocytes. The polar body rate, the index of the nuclear maturation of the oocytes, and the cleavage rate as well as the blastocyst rate were measured to evaluate the developmental competence of the oocytes after parthenogenetic activation (PA). The results showed that HS [in vitro maturation (IVM) 20-24 hr, 42°C] significantly reduced the polar body rate of oocytes and the blastocyte rate of porcine PA embryos, while melatonin (10(-7)  m) application not only improved polar body rate and blastocyte rate, but also preserved the normal levels of steroid hormone which is disrupted by HS. The presence of melatonin (10(-7)  m) during the oocyte maturation under the HS reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, enhanced glutathione (GSH) production, inhibited cell apoptosis, and increased the gene expressions of SIRT1, AKT2, and Polg2. Importantly, the endogenously occurring melatonin of cumulus-oocyte complexes was significantly induced by HS. The results indicated that melatonin application effectively protected the oocytes from HS. These observations warranted the further studies in vivo regarding to improve the reproductive activities of animals under the global warming environment.


antioxidant; heat stress; melatonin; oocyte; porcine; reproduction

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center