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

Calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) is involved in porcine in vitro fertilisation and early embryo development

C. Liu A , Y. Liu B , K. Larsen C , Y. P. Hou A and H. Callesen B D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A State Key Laboratory for Agrobiotechnology, College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, No. 2, Yuanmingyuan West Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100193, China.

B Department of Animal Science, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark.

C Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark.

D Corresponding author. Email: henrik.callesen@anis.au.dk

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD16338
Submitted: 27 August 2016  Accepted: 25 June 2017   Published online: 17 July 2017

Abstract

It has been demonstrated that extracellular calcium is necessary in fertilisation and embryo development but the mechanism is still not well understood. The present study mainly focussed on the extracellular calcium effector called the calcium-sensing receptor (CASR) and examined its expression in porcine gametes and embryos and its function during fertilisation and early embryo development. By using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, CASR was found to be expressed in porcine oocytes, spermatozoa and embryos at different developmental stages. Functionally, medium supplementation with a CASR agonist or an antagonist during in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and in vitro culture (IVC) was tested. During fertilisation, the presence of a CASR agonist increased sperm penetration rate and decreased polyspermy rate leading to an increased normal fertilisation rate. During embryo development, for the IVF embryos, agonist treatment during IVC significantly increased cleavage rate and blastocyst formation rate compared with the control group. Furthermore, parthenogenetically activated embryos showed similar results with lower cleavage and blastocyst formation rates in the antagonist group than in the other groups. It was concluded that CASR, as the effector of extracellular calcium, modulates porcine fertilisation and early embryo development.

Additional keywords: agonist, antagonist, parthenogenetic activation, pig.


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