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Vertebrate reproductive science and technology

74 Treatment with Melatonin During In Vitro Culture Enhances Porcine Parthenogenetically Activated Embryo Development

G. A. Kim A , J.-X. Jin A , S. Lee A , A. Taweechaipaisankul A and B. C. Lee A
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Department of Theriogenology and Biotechnology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 30(1) 175-176
Published: 4 December 2017


Melatonin and its metabolites are powerful antioxidants and free radical scavengers. Because porcine embryos are vulnerable to oxidative stress in vitro, the addition of various protective chemicals to the culture medium, including melatonin, has been explored. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of melatonin on in vitro developmental competence of porcine parthenogenetically activated (PA) embryos. Immature cumulus–oocyte complexes (COC) were collected and cultured in medium comprising TCM-199 supplemented with 10 ng mL−1 epidermal growth factor, 0.57 mM cysteine, 0.91 mM sodium pyruvate, 5 μL mL−1 insulin, transferrin selenium solution 100×, 10% porcine follicular fluid, 10 IU mL−1 eCG, and 10 IU mL−1 hCG for 44 h. Then, COC were denuded and PA with electrical stimulation, and PA embryos were cultured in porcine zygote medium 5 (PZM-5) supplemented with melatonin at increased concentrations (10−9, 10−7, 10−5 M) at 39°C in a humidified atmosphere of 5% O2, 5% CO2, and 90% N2 for 7 days. Subsequent embryo development, including cleavage rate, blastocyst rate, and blastocyst cell numbers, was compared between groups (mean no. of embryos; control, 27.14; 10−9 M, 28.86; 10−7 M, 27.71; 10−5 M, 26.43). The experiments were repeated 7 times for each treatment group. Statistical analyses of all data were performed using one-way ANOVA with Dunn’s multiple comparison test. Results are expressed as the mean ± SEM and all differences were considered significant at P < 0.05. No apparent effect on cleavage rate of melatonin treatment of various concentrations was noted. Blastocyst cell number did not show any significant difference between groups. However, the potential of PA oocytes to develop into blastocysts was significantly higher in the group supplemented with 10−9 M melatonin compared with the control group (35.44 ± 3.84 v. 24.71 ± 1.59) and other melatonin treated groups (10−5 M, 21.35 ± 2.82; 10−7 M, 24.01 ± 2.31; P < 0.05). These indicated that treatment with 10−9 M melatonin in embryo culture might reduce the oxidative stress properly compared with other concentrations, which results in improvement of blastocyst rate formation. In conclusion, treatment with 10−9 M melatonin positively promoted the blastocyst formation rate of porcine PA embryos with no beneficial effects on their blastocyst cell numbers or cleavage rate.

This study was supported by the National Research Foundation (#2015R1C1A2A01054373; 2016M3A9B6903410), Research Institute for Veterinary Science and the BK21 PLUS Program.

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