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We examined the in vitro developmental competence of parthenogenetic activation (PA) oocytes activated by an electric pulse (EP) and treated with various concentrations of AZD5438 for 4 h. Treatment with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h significantly improved the blastocyst formation rate of PA oocytes in comparison with 0, 20, or 50 µM AZD5438 treatment (46.4% vs. 34.5%, 32.3%, and 24.0%, respectively; P < 0.05). The blastocyst formation rate was higher in the group treated with AZD5438 for 4 h than in the groups treated with AZD5438 for 2 or 6 h (42.8% vs. 38.6% and 37.2%, respectively; P > 0.05). Furthermore, 66.67% of blastocysts derived from these AZD5438-treated PA oocytes had a diploid karyotype. The blastocyst formation rate of PA and somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos was similar between oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 2 mM 6-dimethylaminopurine for 4 h and those activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h (11.11% vs. 13.40%, P > 0.05). In addition, the level of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was significantly decreased in oocytes activated by an EP and treated with 10 µM AZD5438 for 4 h. Finally, the mRNA expression levels of apoptosis-related genes (Bax and Bcl-2) and pluripotency-related genes (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2) were checked by RT-PCR; however, there were no differences between the AZD5438-treated and non-treated control groups. Our results demonstrate that porcine oocyte activation via an EP in combination with AZD5438 treatment can lead to a high blastocyst formation rate in PA and SCNT experiments.
We investigated the effect of human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPS) medium on porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer and bovine in vitro fertilized early blastocysts, in comparison with North Carolina State University (NCSU)-37 medium and in vitro culture (IVC)-II medium. After 2 days of culture, the diameter of the portion of the blastocyst that was extruded from the zona pellucid dramatically differed between porcine blastocysts cultured in hiPS medium and those cultured in NCSU-37 medium (221.47 ± 38.94 μm versus 481.87 ± 40.61 μm, P < 0.01). Moreover, the diameter of the portion of the blastocyst significantly differed between bovine blastocysts cultured in hiPS medium and those cultured in IVC-II medium (150.30 ± 29.49 μm versus 195.58 ± 41.59 μm, P < 0.01). Furthermore, the total number of cells per porcine and bovine blastocyst was more than two-fold higher in blastocysts cultured in hiPS medium than in those cultured in NCSU-37 medium (44.33 ± 5.28 and 143.33 ± 16.05, P < 0.01) or IVC-II medium (172.12 ± 45.08 and 604.83 ± 242.64, P < 0.01), respectively. These results indicate that hiPS medium markedly improves the quality of porcine and bovine blastocysts.
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