Recombinant human activin A promotes development of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos matured in vitro
Hua, S.; Lan, J.; Liu, Y. G.; Song, Y. L.; Liu, J.; Wang, Y. S.; Zhang, T.; Zhang, Y.
Czech Journal of Animal Science 55(7): 267-275
ISSN/ISBN: 1212-1819 DOI: 10.17221/298/2009-cjas
To improve the culture system of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos, we studied the effects of activin A on developmental competence of bovine SCNT embryos during the early development stage based on the traditional culture method, and analyzed the expression level of the genes related to blastocyst hatching (Na/K-ATPase, Glut-1) and related to activin A signalling pathway (ActRII and Smad2). We generated the bovine SCNT embryo using a Holstein cow oocyte as recipient cytoplasm and a foetal ear fibroblast (Holstein cow, 120 days) as donor cell. The embryos were cultured as follows: experiment 1, the addition of activin A at the concentrations of 0 (control), 20 (M1-20), 40 (M1-40) or 80 ng/ml (M1-80) to the media during the first three days and no addition during the subsequent 5 days; experiment 2, no addition of activin A to the media during the first 3 days and the addition of activin A at the concentrations of 0 (control), 20 (M2-20), 40 (M2-40) or 80 ng/ml (M2-80) during the subsequent 5 days. The results indicated that the blastocyst formation rate and hatching rate, and total blastomere numbers as well as ICM/TE obtained in experiment 1 were not significantly different from the control group (P > 0.05). In contrast, these values obtained in experiment 2 were significantly higher than in the control group (P < 0.05). In addition, the relative abundance (ratio to GAPDH mRNA) of each gene (Glut-1, ActR II and Smad2) was not significantly different among the treatments in the experiment. The expression levels of 4 genes (Na/K-ATPase, Glut-1, ActR II and Smad2) in blastocysts obtained in experiment 2 were higher than those obtained in experiment 1. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the addition of activin A to the culture media from day 4 to day 8 can enhance the developmental competence of bovine SCNT embryos.