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Methomyl is a broad-spectrum carbamate insecticide that has a variety of toxic effects on humans and animals. However, there have been no studies on the toxicity of methomyl in female mammalian oocytes. This study investigated the toxic effects of environmental oestrogen methomyl exposure on mouse oocyte maturation and its possible mechanisms. Our results indicated that methomyl exposure inhibited polar body extrusion in mouse oocytes. Compared with that in the control group, in the methomyl treatment group, superoxide anion free radicals in oocytes were significantly increased. In addition, the mitochondrial membrane potential of metaphase II stage oocytes in the methomyl treatment group was significantly decreased, resulting in reduced mouse oocyte quality. After 8.5 h of exposure to methomyl, metaphase I stage mouse oocytes displayed an abnormal spindle morphology. mRNA expression of the pro-apoptotic genes Bax and Caspase-3 in methomyl-treated oocytes increased, which confirmed the apoptosis. Collectively, our results indicated that mouse oocyte maturation is defective after methomyl treatment at least through disruption of spindle morphology, mitochondrial function and by induction of oxidative stress.
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.
Kaempferol (KAE) is one of the most common dietary flavonols possessing biological activities such as anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Although previous studies have reported the biological activity of KAE on a variety of cells, it is not clear whether KAE plays a similar role in oocyte and embryo in vitro culture systems. This study investigated the effect of KAE addition to in vitro maturation on the antioxidant capacity of embryos in porcine oocytes after parthenogenetic activation. The effects of kaempferol on oocyte quality in porcine oocytes were studied based on the expression of related genes, reactive oxygen species, glutathione and mitochondrial membrane potential as criteria. The rate of blastocyst formation was significantly higher in oocytes treated with 0.1 µm KAE than in control oocytes. The mRNA level of the apoptosis-related gene Caspase-3 was significantly lower in the blastocysts derived from KAE-treated oocytes than in the control group and the mRNA expression of the embryo development-related genes COX2 and SOX2 was significantly increased in the KAE-treated group compared with that in the control group. Furthermore, the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species was significantly decreased and that of glutathione was significantly increased after KAE treatment. Mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) was increased and the activity of Caspase-3 was significantly decreased in the KAE-treated group compared with that in the control group. Taken together, these results suggested that KAE is beneficial for the improvement of embryo development by inhibiting oxidative stress in porcine oocytes.
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