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Supplementing embryonic culture medium with fetal bovine serum (FBS) renders this medium undefined. Glucose and growth factors present in FBS may affect the results of cell differentiation studies. This study tested the hypothesis that FBS supplementation during in vitro culture (IVC) alters cell differentiation in early bovine embryo development. Bovine embryos were produced in vitro and randomly distributed into three experimental groups at 90 h post insemination (90 hpi): the KSOM-FBS group, which consisted of a 5% (v/v) FBS supplementation; the KSOM33 group, with the renewal of 33% of medium volume; and the KSOM-Zero group, without FBS supplementation nor renewal of the culture medium. The results showed that the blastocyst rate (blastocyst/oocytes) at 210 hpi in the KSOM-FBS group was higher than in the KSOM-Zero group but not different from the KSOM33 group. There were no significant changes in metabolism-related aspects, such as fluorescence intensities of CellROX Green and MitoTracker Red or reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD+). Immunofluorescence analysis of CDX2 revealed that the lack of FBS or medium supplementation reduced the number of trophectoderm (TE) cells and total cells. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed a reduction of SOX17-positive cell numbers after FBS supplementation compared with the KSOM33 group. Therefore, we concluded that FBS absence reduced blastocyst rates; however, no reduction occurred when there was a 33% volume renewal of the medium at 90 hpi. We also concluded that FBS supplementation altered TE and primitive endoderm cell allocation during early bovine embryo development.
Myostatin is described as a negative regulator of the skeletal muscle growth. Genetic engineering, in order to produce animals with double the muscle mass and that can transmit the characteristic to future progeny, may be useful. In this context, the present study aimed to analyse the feasibility of lentiviral-mediated delivery of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting of myostatin into in vitro produced transgenic bovine embryos. Lentiviral vectors were used to deliver a transgene that expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP) and an shRNA that targeted myostatin. Vector efficiency was verified through in vitro murine myoblast (C2C12) cell morphology after inductive differentiation and by means of real-time PCR. The lentiviral vector was microinjected into the perivitellinic space of in vitro matured oocytes. Non-microinjected oocytes were used as the control. After injection, oocytes were fertilized and cultured in vitro. Blastocysts were evaluated by epifluorescence microscopy. Results demonstrated that the vector was able to inhibit myostatin mRNA in C2C12 cells, as the transducted group had a less amount of myostatin mRNA after 72 h of differentiation (p < 0.05) and had less myotube formation than the non-transduced group (p < 0.05). There was no difference in cleavage and blastocyst rates between the microinjected and control groups. After hatching, 3.07% of the embryos exhibited GFP expression, indicating that they expressed shRNA targeting myostatin. In conclusion, we demonstrate that a lentiviral vector effectively performed shRNA myostatin gene knockdown and gene delivery into in vitro produced bovine embryos. Thus, this technique can be considered a novel option for the production of transgenic embryos and double muscle mass animals.
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