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

Culture conditions affect Ca2+ release in artificially activated mouse and human oocytes

Yuechao Lu A , Davina Bonte A , Minerva Ferrer-Buitrago A , Mina Popovic A , Jitesh Neupane A , Margot Van der Jeught A , Luc Leybaert B , Petra De Sutter A and Björn Heindryckx A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Ghent-Fertility and Stem Cell Team (G-FaST), Department for Reproductive Medicine, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan 185, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.

B Physiology Group, Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185, 9000, Ghent, Belgium.

C Corresponding author. Email: bjorn.heindryckx@ugent.be

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD17145
Submitted: 12 April 2017  Accepted: 17 November 2017   Published online: 12 January 2018

Abstract

Inconsistent fertilisation and pregnancy rates have been reported by different laboratories after application of ionomycin as a clinical method of assisted oocyte activation (AOA) to overcome fertilisation failure. Using both mouse and human oocytes, in the present study we investigated the effects of ionomycin and Ca2+ concentrations on the pattern of Ca2+ release and embryonic developmental potential. In the mouse, application of 5 μM ionomycin in potassium simplex optimisation medium (KSOM) or 10 µM ionomycin in Ca2+-free KSOM significantly reduced the Ca2+ flux and resulted in failure of blastocyst formation compared with 10 μM ionomycin in KSOM. Increasing the Ca2+ concentration up to three- or sixfold did not benefit mouse embryonic developmental potential. Similarly, 10 μM ionomycin-induced rise in Ca2+ in human oocytes increased with increasing total calcium concentrations in the commercial medium. Remarkably, we observed significantly reduced mouse embryo development when performing AOA over a period of 10 min in Quinn’s AdvantageTM Fertilisation medium (Cooper Surgical) and IVFTM medium (Vitrolife) compared with Sydney IVF COOK cleavage medium (Cook Ireland), using the same sequential culture system from the post-activation stage to blastocyst formation stage in different AOA groups. In conclusion, concentrations of both ionomycin and Ca2+ in culture media used during AOA can have significant effects on Ca2+ release and further embryonic developmental potential.

Additional keywords: assisted oocyte activation, fertilisation failure, ionomycin.


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