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J Anim Sci. 2016 Aug;94(8):3255-3263.

Alpha-linolenic acid treatment during oocyte maturation enhances embryonic development by influencing mitogen-activated protein kinase activity and intraoocyte glutathione content in pigs.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) treatment during in vitro maturation (IVM) on nuclear maturation, intraoocyte glutathione (GSH) content, meiotic progression, and developmental competence after parthenogenesis (PA) and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) in pigs. Medium-199 containing 10% (vol/vol) porcine follicular fluid (PFF; PPF control) or 0.4% (wt/vol) fatty acid-free BSA (BSA control) was used for IVM. The proportion of oocytes reaching the metaphase II (MII) stage was not influenced by ALA treatment at various concentrations (50, 100, and 200 μ). However, treatment with 100 μ ALA significantly increased ( < 0.05) intraoocyte GSH content (1.19 vs. 1.00 and 0.92 pixels per oocyte, comparing the treated oocytes, BSA control, and PFF control, respectively) and embryonic development to the blastocyst stage after PA (47.1 vs. 35.5 and 35.2%) and SCNT (31.4 vs. 23.9 and 24.3%). ALA treatment (100 μ) accelerated oocyte maturation, and a higher proportion of ALA-treated oocytes (89.6%) reached the MII stage than did the untreated controls (75.5%) at 33 h of IVM. Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase inhibitor (U0126) treatment during IVM inhibited nuclear maturation and embryonic development after PA. However, 100 μ ALA completely counteracted the suppressive effect of U0126 on nuclear maturation and partially counteracted the effect on blastocyst formation. Our results demonstrate that treatment with 100 μ ALA during IVM improves developmental competence by accelerating nuclear maturation and also influencing cytoplasmic maturation, such as increased GSH content in IVM oocytes.

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