Oocytes secrete soluble paracrine factors called Oocyte Secreted Factors (OSFs) which regulate the cumulus cell phenotype. Follicle populations in ovaries from prepubertal females have smaller diameters than their adult counterparts. Oocytes from small follicles are less competent than those from large follicles. The aim of this study was to investigate, in prepubertal goats, the effect of OSFs secreted by denuded oocytes (DOs) from small (<3 mm) or large (≥3 mm) follicles during IVM on embryo development and the blastocyst quality of cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) from small follicles and to determine if GDF9 participates in this process. Treatment groups were: (A) COCs non selected by their follicle size (control group); (B) cumulus oocytes complexes from small follicles (SFCOCs), (C) cumulus oocytes complexes from small follicles co-cultured with denuded oocytes from small follicles (SFCOCs + SFDOs), and (D) cumulus oocytes complexes from small follicles co-cultured with denuded oocytes from large follicles (SFCOCs + LFDOs). The effect of the addition of kinase inhibitor SB-431542, which antagonizes GDF9, was tested in A, C, and D treatment groups. Co-cultured SFCOCs with SFDOs or LFDOs significantly augmented the blastocyst rate in comparison to SFCOCs alone (15.77%, 17.39% vs. 10.31%, respectively). Blastocysts from SFCOCs + LFDOs group showed higher rates of tetraploid nuclei than blastocysts from SFCOCs and the control group (14.43% vs. 5.45% and 5.24%, respectively; P < 0.05). However, we did not observe differences in the hatching rate, mean cell number or embryo cryotolerance (P > 0.05) between the four treatment groups. The addition of SB-431542 during IVM did not have any effect on blastocyst rate (P > 0.05). In conclusion, in prepubertal goats, COCs with a low embryo developmental competence as a consequence of follicle size can be improved by coculturing them with denuded oocytes from both small and large follicles. GDF9 does not seem play a role in this improvement. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2010|
- Follicle size
- Oocyte Secreted Factors
- Prepubertal goat