Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology

Amino acid metabolism of bovine blastocysts derived from parthenogenetically activated or in vitro fertilized oocytes

Y. G. Jung, T. Sakata, E. S. Lee and Y. Fukui

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 10(3) 279 - 288
Published: 1998


The uptake and synthesis of 19 amino acids by fresh or frozen–thawed bovine blastocysts produced by parthenogenesis (PT) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) were compared in the present study. Fresh blastocysts, 180 h after IVF or PT activation, and frozen–thawed blastocysts, 168 h old and cultured for 12 h post-thawing, were cultured in synthetic oviduct fluid medium (SOFM) containing polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) with both essential and non-essential amino acids (EAA and NEAA, respectively) (Medium 1: M1) or SOFM containing PVA with only EAA (Medium 2: M2). In Experiment 1, when fresh or frozen–thawed PT blastocysts were cultured in M1, the uptake of glutamate (in fresh only), aspartate and arginine, and the synthesis of glutamine and alanine were significantly enhanced. In the culture with M2, serine, asparagine, glutamate, glutamine, glycine, arginine and alanine were significantly taken up. It was found that the glutamine concentrations was significantly higher (P < 0.001) in the culture medium drops containing embryos than in the drops without embryos. In Experiment 2, when PT blastocysts were cultured in M1, the uptake of aspartate and synthesis of alanine were greater (P < 0.01) than those by IVF blastocysts. When M2 was used, a significant (P < 0.01) production of serine, asparagine, glutamate, glutamine and alanine, and the uptake of arginine by PT blastocysts were observed. In Experiment 3, when IVF blastocysts were cultured in M1, fresh blastocysts depleted more aspartate and glutamate, and produced more glutamine and alanine than frozen–thawed blastocysts. When cultured in M2, frozen–thawed blastocysts depleted more threonine (P < 0.01) than fresh blastocysts. These results indicate that the uptake and synthesis of amino acids were different in fresh or frozen–thawed bovine blastocysts derived from PT or IVF. These differences in amino acid metabolism may be related to the viability of the blastocysts.

Keywords: amino acid, metabolism, parthenogenesis, bovine blastocysts.

© CSIRO 1998

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