Theriogenology. 2016 Dec;86(9):2210-2221
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different concentrations of royal jelly (RJ) on in vitro maturation (IVM), fertilization, cleavage, blastocyst rates, glutathione (GSH) content in ovine oocyte, mRNA abundance of antioxidant enzymes in both oocyte and cumulus, and glucose metabolism-related genes in cumulus cells.
In vitro maturation of oocyte was performed in the presence of control (RJ0), 2.5 (RJ2.5), 5 (RJ5), and 10 (RJ10) mg/mL of RJ. Nuclear status, intracellular GSH content in oocytes, and mRNA abundance of selected genes were evaluated following 24 hours of IVM. Following the IVM, fertilization and embryo culture were carried out in all the groups and embryonic development was examined. The addition of 10-mg/mL RJ to maturation media not only yielded a higher number of oocytes at MII stage but also showed an increased level of intracellular GSH content than did RJ2.5 and control groups. Fertilization, cleavage, and blastocyst rate were higher in the RJ10 treatment group in comparison to the control one. In cumulus cells, the expression of PFKM, PFKL, and G6PDH were increased following the addition of RJ to the maturation media. Supplementation of 10-mg/mL RJ to IVM medium increased the GPx mRNA abundance in both oocyte and cumulus cells and SOD expression in the cumulus cells. The CAT mRNA abundance was not influenced by the addition of RJ to the maturation media in either oocyte or cumulus cells.
It seems that the improvement of oocyte maturation and its subsequent development in RJ10 group may be associated with amelioration of redox status in the oocytes and activation of glucose metabolic pathways in their surrounding cumulus cells.