Contents This study examines the presence of activin IIA and IIB receptors (ActR-IIA and ActR-IIB) by Western blotting and immunocytochemistry in immature and IVM-oocytes, 2 to 8-cells embryos and blastocysts from prepubertal goats. Western blotting revealed that activin receptors are synthesized during oocyte maturation and embryo development. In the immunocytochemistry experiments, no immunostaining for either receptor was detected in oocytes while both receptors were immunolabelled in all the cells of cleaved embryos. In blastocysts, while ActR-IIA expression appeared evenly distributed in the two cell lineages, inner cell mass and trophectoderm, the ActR-IIB immunosignal was restricted mainly to the inner cell mass. Our findings reveal the presence of activin type II receptors (ActR-IIA and ActR-IIB) in in vitro matured prepubertal goat oocytes and blastocyst-stage embryos. The expression of these receptors could be a key factor in understanding differences between competent and incompetent oocytes.
- embryo development
- juvenile goat