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


R. Appeltant A , T. Somfai B , M. Nakai C , S. Bodo D , D. Maes A , K. Kikuchi C and A. Van Soom A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium;

B NARO Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, Tsukuba, Japan;

C National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba, Japan;

D Szent István University, Godollo, Hungary

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 27(1) 237-237
Published: 4 December 2014


Recent research has revealed that oocyte-secreted factors (OSF) affect cumulus expansion and play important roles during maturation and embryo development of mammalian oocytes. The use of denuded oocytes (DO) as supplements during in vitro maturation (IVM) in a nondefined medium improved developmental competence of cumulus-enclosed porcine oocytes (COC; Gomez et al. 2012 Zygote 20, 135–145). We investigated the effect of DO on cumulus expansion and nuclear maturation of COC in pigs during IVM using a defined medium. If the DO exert a positive influence on IVM, the defined medium can then be analysed for the presence of OSF. Immature COC were collected in the slaughterhouse from prepubertal gilts. To obtain DO, some COC were completely denuded by pipetting through a narrow-bore glass pipette. The COC used as a source for DO fulfilled the same morphological criteria as the COC used for IVM. The IVM medium was porcine oocyte medium (POM; Yoshioka et al. 2008 J. Reprod. Dev. 54, 208–213) with hormone supplementations applied only during the first 20 h of the IVM period. The COC were fixed to the bottom of 35-mm plastic Petri dishes in 3 × 3 grids by Cell-Tak (BD Bioscience, Bedford, MA, USA) in 100-µL droplets POM covered by paraffin oil. Culture droplets (each including 1 COC grid) were supplemented with (DO+ group, n = 179) or without 16 DO (DO– group, n = 143). After 20 h of IVM, the medium was replaced with a preincubated hormone-free POM and oocytes were cultured for an additional 28 h. At 0, 20, and 48 h of IVM, images of each grid were taken at the same magnification. The size of each COC was measured as a 2-dimensional area in pixels by analysing images with ImageJ software. Relative cumulus expansion was calculated at 20 and 48 h of IVM on the basis of the initial COC size at 0 h, which was assigned as 1. At 48 h of IVM, the COC were denuded and examined for oocyte maturation by orcein staining. The experiment was replicated 5 times. Cumulus expansion ratios at 20 and 48 h of IVM were compared between the DO+ and DO– groups by ANOVA. Maturation rates were compared between the DO+ and DO– groups by binary logistic regression. No difference in cumulus expansion between DO– and DO+ could be observed at 20 h (1.83 ± 0.04 and 1.75 ± 0.03, respectively) and 48 h (1.41 ± 0.03 and 1.47 ± 0.02, respectively) of IVM. Nuclear maturation rates of COC in DO– and DO+ groups did not differ significantly (39.0 ± 5.4 and 32.9 ± 8.8%, respectively). In conclusion, addition of DO to the defined IVM medium did not affect the cumulus expansion and oocyte maturation of follicular porcine COC. Further research is needed to assess the effects of DO during IVM on subsequent fertilization. If DO prove to be beneficial for fertilization, the nature of the OSF will be investigated.

This study was supported by FCWO of UGent and by FWO-Flanders (grant number FWO11/ASP/276).

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