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

Iloprost, a prostacyclin analogue, stimulates meiotic maturation and early embryonic development in pigs

Ji-Su Kim A B , Jung-Il Chae C , Bong-Seok Song B , Kyu-Sun Lee D , Young-Kug Choo E , Kyu-Tae Chang B , Humdai Park F and Deog-Bon Koo A F G

A Development and Differentiation Research Center, Korea Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, 111 Gwahangno, Yuseong, Daejeon 305-806, Korea.

B National Primate Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Ochang, Chungbuk 363-883, Korea.

C Graduate School of Life Science, CHA Stem Cell Institute, Pochon CHA University, 605-21 Yeoksam 1 dong, Gangnamgu, Seoul 135-907, Korea.

D Aging Research Center, Korea Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, 111 Gwahangno, Yuseong, Daejeon 305-806, Korea.

E Department of Life Science, Wonkwang University, Iksan, Jeonbuk 570-749, Korea.

F Department of Biotechology, College of Engineering, 15 Jillyang Gyeongsan, Gyeobguk 712-714, Korea.

G Corresponding author. Email: dbkoo@daegu.ac.kr

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 22(2) 437-447 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD08287
Submitted: 4 December 2008  Accepted: 13 August 2009   Published: 4 January 2010

Abstract

Oviduct fluid contains various cytokines and growth factors that enhance the embryo development during the preimplantation period. In hatched embryos, prostacyclin (PGI2) improves implantation, but its role during oocyte maturation and early embryo development remains contentious. Therefore, in the present study, we examined the effects of a PGI2 analogue (iloprost) on meiotic maturation and early embryonic development in pigs, as well on the structural integrity, mitochondrial membrane potential and apoptosis in blastocysts. First, meiotic maturation in pig oocytes was examined in the presence of increasing concentrations of iloprost (1, 5 and 10 μM). After IVM, a higher proportion of iloprost-treated compared with untreated oocytes was in MII (90.0% v. 65.7%, respectively; P < 0.05). In addition, protein kinase A activity increased in iloprost-treated oocytes, indicating increased intracellular cAMP concentrations. After 22 h iloprost treatment (44 h total incubation time), western blotting demonstrated increased expression of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2, phosphorylated (p-) ERK1/2, cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), p-CREB and cyclo-oxygenase-2, indicating activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase and PGI2 pathways. In addition, the frequency of polyspermy decreased in iloprost-treated oocytes (19.9%) compared with control (35.8%), whereas the rate of blastocyst formation increased (P < 0.05). Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) showed that the number of nuclei containing fragmented DNA at the blastocyst stage decreased in the iloprost-treated group compared with control (1.2% v. 3.6%, respectively). In conclusion, iloprost appears to play a direct role in porcine oocyte maturation by enhancing blastocyst structure and survival.

Additional keyword: blastocyst development.


Acknowledgements

This study was supported by grants from the KBRDG Initiative Research Program (F104AD010004–06A0401–00410) and the BioGreen 21 Program (20070401034017), the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Rural Development Administration of the Republic of Korea.


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