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Methomyl is a widely used carbamate insecticide and environmental oestrogen that has adverse effects on the reproductive system. However, there have been no reports on the effect of methomyl on early embryos in mammals. In this study, we explored the effect of methomyl exposure on the quality of early embryonic development in mice and the possible mechanisms. During in vitro culture, different concentrations of methomyl (10, 20, 30 and 35 μM) were added to mouse zygote medium. The results showed that methomyl had an adverse effect on early embryonic development. Compared with the control group, the addition of 30 μM methomyl significantly reduced the rate of early embryo blastocyst formation. Methomyl exposure can increase oxidative stress and impair mitochondrial function, which may be the cause of blastocyst formation. In addition, we found that methomyl exposure promoted apoptosis and autophagy in mouse blastocysts. The toxic effect of methomyl on early embryos may be the result of oxidative stress induction. Taken together, our results indicate that methomyl can cause embryonic development defects in mice, thereby reducing the quality of early embryo development.
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