Retinoic acid improves maturation rate and upregulates the expression of antioxidant-related genes in in vitro matured buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) oocytes

Gad, A.; Abu Hamed, S.; Khalifa, M.; Amin, A.; El-Sayed, A.; Swiefy, S.A.; El-Assal, S.

International Journal of Veterinary Science and Medicine 6(2): 279-285

2018


ISSN/ISBN: 2314-4599
PMID: 30564610
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijvsm.2018.09.003
Accession: 066020044

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Abstract
Retinoic acid, vitamin A metabolite, plays a role in oocyte development and maturation in different ways including gene expression alteration and/or prohibiting oxidative stress. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of 9-cis-retinoic acid (9-cisRA) on the quality and maturation rate of buffalo oocytes. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs, n = 460) were collected from ovaries of slaughtered buffalos. Varying concentrations of 9-cisRA (0, 5, 50, and 200 nM) were added to the maturation medium, and the following parameters were analyzed: (i) maturation and cleavage rates, (ii) mitochondrial activity and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, (iii) expression level of antioxidant-related genes (PRDX1, SOD1, CAT, HOMX1, and GPX4) using RT-qPCR. Maturation rate was significantly improved in 5 nM 9-cisRA oocyte group (95.8%, P < .05) compared to control and other treatment groups (86.7% in control group). The same oocyte group exhibited significantly higher mitochondrial membrane potential activity and lower ROS accumulation level compared to other treatment groups. Antioxidant-related genes were up-regulated in oocytes matured with 5 or 50 nM 9-cisRA compared to control and 200 nM 9-cisRA groups. In contrast, 200 nM of 9-cisRA showed a clear down-regulation for antioxidant-related genes except for PRDX1. In conclusion, supplementation of 9-cisRA with a lower concentration (5 nM) to the buffalo oocytes maturation media promotes maturation rate through a protection mechanism that maintains adequate levels of antioxidant-related transcripts and improves mitochondrial activity. However, 9-cisRA has no significant effect on the cleavage rate of the treated oocytes.