Effect of α-linolenic acid on oocyte maturation and embryo development of prepubertal sheep oocytes

Vahid Ghaffarilaleh, Ali Fouladi-Nashta, Maria Teresa Paramio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of omega-3 α-linolenic acid (ALA) added to the IVM medium on embryo development of prepubertal sheep oocytes. Experiment 1 investigated the effect of ALA at different concentrations (0 [control], 50, 100, and 200μM) and DMSO (100μM) in IVM media on cumulus cell expansion and oocyte nuclear maturation and on synthesis of prostaglandins (PGE2 and PGF2α). Experiment 2 investigated the effects of ALA at different concentrations in the IVM medium on oocyte fertilization, cleavage, and developmental potential to blastocyst stage and changes in estradiol and progesterone concentrations in the spent IVM media. IVM oocytes were fertilized with frozen-thawed spermatozoa capacitated in a serum-free sperm medium. Presumptive zygotes were cultured 8 days in synthetic oviductal fluid (SOF) medium without serum. Blastocyst quality was assessed by counting total cell number and the number of apoptotic cells using Hoechst and Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining. Nuclear maturation of oocytes and the number of fully expanded cumulus cells were reduced after treatment with 200μM of ALA compared with other groups (P≤0.05). Supplementation with ALA increased both PGE2 and PGF2α concentrations in the spent media (P≤0.05). No differences were observed in blastocyst development among control (12.2%) and 50, 100, and 200μM ALA groups (6.9%, 11.5% and 14.0%, respectively). However, the total cell number (46.50±5.85, 67.94±6.71, 45.20±6.37, and 59.80±5.51, respectively; P≤0.05) and apoptotic cell number (6.45±0.89, 2.48±0.81, 4.02±1.15, and 3.67±1.15, respectively; P≤0.05) were significantly improved. After IVM, estradiol concentration was lower and progesterone concentration was higher in ALA groups compared with the control group (P≤0.05). In conclusion, these results revealed that ALA affects prepubertal sheep embryo quality associated with alteration of releasing reproductive hormones. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)686-696
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2014


  • Embryo
  • IVM
  • Oocyte
  • Prepubertal sheep
  • α-Linolenic acid


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of α-linolenic acid on oocyte maturation and embryo development of prepubertal sheep oocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this