Increasing the cAMP concentration during in vitro maturation of pig oocytes improves cumulus maturation and subsequent fertilization in vitro.
Appeltant R., Beek J., Vandenberghe L., Maes D., Van Soom A.
Porcine IVF faces various problems such as incomplete cytoplasmic maturation of the oocyte and polyspermy. Previous studies proved the importance of cAMP in regulating nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of oocytes. This study investigated the effect of the cAMP-modulating agents 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) and dibutyryl cAMP sodium salt (dbcAMP) on several parameters during in vitro production of porcine embryos. First, we wanted to see if oocyte collection in IBMX could meiotically arrest oocytes and, as such, improve synchronization of nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation. To this end, cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were collected from gilts in HEPES-buffered Tyrode balanced salt solution medium with 0.5-mM IBMX or without IBMX. At the end of oocyte collection, the effect of IBMX on chromatin configuration was evaluated. However, no differences could be observed in nuclear configuration between IBMX- and IBMX+ oocytes (P > 0.05). Second, we added dbcAMP during IVM to improve cytoplasmic maturation and evaluated cumulus expansion (lack of adhesion), a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin-like repeats (ADAMTS-1) levels in cumulus cells, fertilization, and blastocyst rates. Cumulus-oocyte complexes were matured in modified North Carolina State University medium 37 with or without 1-mM dbcAMP. Frozen-thawed, epididymal, boar spermatozoa were used for IVF. After IVF, presumed zygotes were cultured for 7 days in North Carolina State University medium 23. Penetration rate decreased in dbcAMP+ (57.3%) compared with dbcAMP- (67.8%), but the polyspermy rate also decreased (43.3% vs. 53.4%, respectively) leading to an increased normal fertilization rate (56.7% vs. 46.6%, respectively; P 0.05). In conclusion, the use of IBMX during collection did not cause a meiotic arrest. Using dbcAMP during IVM caused a greater normal fertilization rate, a lower rate of adherent COCs during IVM, higher levels of ADAMTS-1 in cumulus cells, and an equal blastocyst rate after screening out adherent COCs. These findings contribute to a better understanding of cAMP involvement in porcine oocyte maturation and provide a basis to develop an improved system with less polyspermy and higher blastocyst rates.