Previous reports have demonstrated the beneficial effect of antifreeze glycoprotein supplementation during oocyte vitrification on preventing ice crystal formation and thus enhancing developmental competence after vitrification-warming. Pseudomonas sp. ID1, a bacterium isolated from marine sediment from Antarctica, produces an exopolysaccharide, M1 EPS, as a cold adaptation mechanism. Despite numerous studies on structural and morphological damages induced by cryopreservation in oocytes, few studies have focused on the impact of vitrification on the expression pattern of genes during early embryo development. In the present study, the expression patterns of 6 genes (BAX, BCL2-like 1, DNMT3A, UBE2A, SCLC2A3, and HDAC1) were investigated in Day 8 blastocysts resulting from in vitro-matured oocytes vitrified/warmed in media supplemented with various concentrations of M1 EPS. After 21 h of IVM, 1,062 oocytes were vitrified/warmed in media supplemented with 0, 0.001, 0.01, 0.1, and 1 mg mL−1 M1 EPS. At 24 h of IVM, oocytes were in vitro fertilized and in vitro cultured and the resulting blastocysts were harvested at Day 8 for RNA extraction and qPCR analysis. Fresh, non-vitrified oocytes were used as a control. Analysis of gene expression was performed through Kruskall-Wallis test and followed by Mann-Whitney test, and the level of significance was set at P ≤ 0.05. No significant differences were detected in relative mRNA abundance for SLC2A3, UBE2A, or HDAC-1 between blastocysts derived from vitrified oocytes, regardless of M1 EPS treatment. Expression of DNMT3A was significantly higher in embryos obtained from oocytes vitrified and warmed with 0.1 mg mL−1 M1 EPS compared with other treatment groups. However, no differences in DNMT3A expression were observed when the other vitrified groups were compared. The relative abundance of BAX transcript in embryos from oocytes vitrified in media supplemented with 0.1 mg mL−1 M1 EPS was higher than that in 0 or 0.001 mg mL−1 groups. Embryos from 0.01 and 0.1 mg mL−1 groups showed higher BCL2-like 1 mRNA abundance than those from the 0, 0.001, and 1 mg mL−1 groups. Whereas blastocysts from oocytes vitrified with 0.01 mg mL−1 M1 EPS exhibited the lowest BAX:BCL2-like 1 ratio, no significant differences in BAX:BCL2-like 1 ratio were observed between the other treatments. The significantly lower BAX:BCL2 ratio observed in blastocysts obtained from oocytes vitrified with 0.01 mg mL−1 M1 EPS could be indicative for a better embryo quality. Although optimizing the use of M1 EPS may benefit oocyte cryopreservation protocols, further research is required to clarify the exact mechanism through which it exerts its protective role. This study was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Project AGL2016-79802-P and grant CTQ2014-59632-R).
Arcarons, N., Vendrell, M., Yeste, M., Mercadé, M. E., López-Béjar, M., & Mogas, T. (2018). 40 Gene Expression Profiling of In Vitro-Produced Blastocysts Derived from In Vitro-Matured Bovine Oocytes Vitrified/Warmed in Media Supplemented with a Biopolymer Produced by an Antarctic Bacterium. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 30(1), 159. https://doi.org/10.1071/rdv30n1ab40