Reduced levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species and apoptotic status are not correlated with increases in cryotolerance of bovine embryos produced in vitro in the presence of antioxidants
MetadataShow full item record
The effects of intracellular (cysteine and beta-mercaptoethanol) and extracellular (catalase) antioxidant supplementation at different times during in vitro production (IVM and/or in vitro culture (IVC)) on bovine embryo development, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, apoptosis and re-expansion rates after a vitrification-thawing process were examined. Blastocyst frequencies were not affected by either antioxidant supplementation (40.5%56.4%) or the timing of supplementation (41.7%-55.4%) compared with control (48.7%; P>0.05). Similarly, antioxidants and the moment of supplementation did not affect (P> 0.05) the total number of blastomeres (86.2-90.5 and 84.4-90.5, respectively) compared with control (85.7). However, the percentage of apoptotic cells was reduced (P< 0.05) in groups supplemented during IVM (1.7%), IVC (2.0%) or both (1.8%) compared with control (4.3%). Intracellular ROS levels measured in Day 7 blastocysts were reduced (P< 0.05) in all groups (0.60-0.78), with the exception of the group supplemented with beta-mercaptoethanol during IVC (0.88), which did not differ (P> 0.05) from that in the control group (1.00). Re-expansion rates were not affected (P> 0.05) by the treatments (50.0%-93.0%). In conclusion, antioxidant supplementation during IVM and/or IVC reduces intracellular ROS and the rate of apoptosis; however, supplementation does not increase embryonic development and survival after vitrification.