A Role of Lipid Metabolism during Cumulus-Oocyte Complex Maturation: Impact of Lipid Modulators to Improve Embryo Production
The potential subcellular consequence of chilling on porcine germinal vesicle (GV) stage oocytes was examined. Prior to in vitro maturation (IVM), Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) freshly collected from antral follicles (3-6mm in diameter) were evenly divided into four groups and immediately incubated in PVA-TL-HEPES medium at the temperature of 39 degrees C (control group), 23 degrees C (room temperature), 15 degrees C and 10 degrees C for 10min, respectively. Following 42h of IVM at 39 degrees C, the survival rates were examined. There was no significant difference between the survival rate of 23 degrees C chilled group and control group (77.92 and 91.89%), but the survival rate of 15 and 10 degrees C chilled group were significantly decreased (46.34 and 4.81%, P<0.01). A further experiment on 15 degrees C group showed that most oocytes died from 2 to 4h of IVM. In order to investigate the effects of chilling on oocytes at the subcellular level, the control and 15 degrees C chilled group COCs fixed at different time points of the IVM cultures (2, 2.5, 3, 3.5 and 4h of IVM) were prepared for transmission electron microscope (TEM) observation. As the result, compared with the control group, there were two significant changes in the ultrastructural morphology of 15 degrees C treatment group: (1) dramatic reduction of heterogeneous lipid, (2) disorganized mitochondria-endoplasmic reticulum-lipid vesicles (M-E-L) combination. These results indicate that 15 degrees C is a critical chilling temperature for porcine GV stage oocyte and the alteration of cellular chemical composition and the destruction of M-E-L combination maybe responsible for chilling injury of porcine oocyte at this stage.