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

Iloprost supports early development of in vitro-produced porcine embryos through activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT signalling pathway

Pil-Soo Jeong A B * , Seung-Bin Yoon A C * , Seon-A Choi A * , Bong-Seok Song A , Ji-Su Kim A C , Bo-Woong Sim A , Young-Ho Park A , Hae-Jun Yang A , Seong-Eun Mun A , Young-Hyun Kim A C , Philyong Kang A , Kang-Jin Jeong A , Youngjeon Lee A , Yeung Bae Jin A , Jae-Won Huh A C , Sang-Rae Lee A C , Deog-Bon Koo B , Young Il Park D , Sun-Uk Kim A C E and Kyu-Tae Chang A C E

A National Primate Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, 30, Yeongudanjiro, Ochangeup, Cheongwon-gu, Cheongju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do 28116, Republic of Korea.

B Department of Biotechnology, College of Engineering, Daegu University, Jillyang-eup, Gyeongsan-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do 38453, Republic of Korea.

C Department of Functional Genomics, University of Science and Technology, 217 Gajeong-gu, Daejeon 34113, Republic of Korea.

D Graduate School Department of Digital Media, Ewha Womans University, Daehyeon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03760, Korea.

E Corresponding authors: Emails: sunuk@kribb.re.kr; changkt@kribb.re.kr

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD15391
Submitted: 2 October 2015  Accepted: 20 April 2016   Published online: 9 June 2016

Abstract

Despite evidence of the presence of prostaglandin (PG) I2 in mammalian oviducts, its role in early development of in vitro-produced (IVP) embryos is largely unknown. Thus, in the present study we examined the effects of iloprost, a PGI2 analogue, on the in vitro developmental competence of early porcine embryos and the underlying mechanism(s). To examine the effects of iloprost on the development rate of IVF embryos, iloprost was added to the in vitro culture (IVC) medium and cultured for 6 days. Supplementation of the IVC medium with iloprost significantly improved developmental parameters, such as blastocyst formation rate, the trophectoderm : inner cell mass ratio and cell survival in IVF and parthenogenetically activated (PA) embryos. In addition, post-blastulation development into the expanded blastocyst stage was improved in iloprost-treated groups compared with controls. Interestingly, the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signalling pathway was significantly activated by iloprost supplementation in a concentration-dependent manner (10–1000 nM), and the beneficial effects of iloprost on the early development of porcine IVF and PA embryos was completely ablated by treatment with 2.5 μM wortmannin, a PI3K/AKT signalling inhibitor. Importantly, expression of the PI3K/AKT signalling pathway was significantly reduced in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) compared with IVF embryos, and iloprost supported the early development of SCNT embryos, as was the case for IVF and PA embryos, suggesting a consistent effect of iloprost on the IVC of IVP porcine embryos. Together, these results indicate that iloprost can be a useful IVC supplement for production of IVP early porcine embryos with high developmental competence.

Additional keywords: culture medium, signal transduction.


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