This study was performed to investigate the effect of melatonin on bovine oocyte maturation and subsequent embryonic development in vitro. The endogenous melatonin concentration in bovine follicular fluid is approximately 10(-11) M. To examine the potential beneficial effects of melatonin on bovine oocyte maturation in vitro, germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes were incubated with different concentrations of melatonin (10(-11), 10(-9), 10(-7), 10(-5), 10(-3) M). Melatonin supplementation at suitable concentrations significantly promoted oocyte maturation. The development of embryos and the mean cell number/blastocyst produced after in vitro fertilization were remarkably improved. The most effective melatonin concentrations obtained from the studies ranged from 10(-9) to 10(-7) M. The expression of melatonin receptor MT1 and MT2 genes was identified in cumulus cells, granulosa cells, and oocytes using reverse transcription PCR, immunofluorescence, and Western blot. The mechanistic studies show that the beneficial effects of melatonin on bovine oocyte maturation are mediated via melatonin membrane receptors as the melatonin receptor agonist (IIK7) promotes this effect while the melatonin receptor antagonist (luzindole) blocks this action. Mechanistic explorations revealed that melatonin supplementation during bovine oocyte maturation significantly up-regulated the expressions of oocyte maturation-associated genes (GDF9, MARF1, and DNMT1a) and cumulus cells expansion-related gene (PTX3, HAS1/2) and that LHR1/2, EGFR are involved in signal transduction and epigenetic reprogramming. The results obtained from the studies provide new information regarding the mechanisms by which melatonin promotes bovine oocyte maturation in vitro and provide an important reference for in vitro embryo production of bovine and the human-assisted reproductive technology.
When a defect occurs in the in vitro development of a pronuclear embryo, the interruption of the subsequent implantation limits the success of assisted conception. This common problem remains to be solved. In this study, we observed that melatonin at its physiological concentration (10(-7) m) significantly promoted the in vitro development of murine pronuclear embryos. This was indicated by the increased blastocyst rate, hatching blastocyst rate, and blastocyst cell number with melatonin treatment. In addition, when these blastocysts were implanted into female recipient mice, the pregnancy rates (95.0% versus control 67.8%), litter sizes (4.1 pups/litter versus control 2.7 pups/litter), and postnatal survival rates of offspring (96.84% versus control 81.24%) were significantly improved compared with their non-melatonin-treated counterparts. Mechanistic studies revealed that melatonin treatment upregulates gene expression of the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and the anti-apoptotic factor bcl-2 while downregulating the expression of pro-apoptotic genes p53 and caspase-3. Due to these changes, melatonin treatment reduces ROS production and cellular apoptosis during in vitro embryo development and improves the quality of blastocysts. The implantation of blastocysts with higher quality leads to more healthy offspring and increased pup survival.
Female fertility irreversibly declines with aging, and this is primarily associated with the decreased quality and quantity of oocytes. To evaluate whether a long‐term of melatonin treatment would improve the fertility of aged mice, different concentrations of melatonin (10−3, 10−5, 10−7 mol/L) were supplemented into drinking water. Melatonin treatments improved the litter sizes of mice at the age of 24 weeks. Mice treated with 10−5 mol/L melatonin had the largest litter size among other concentrations. At this optimal concentration, melatonin not only significantly increased the total number of oocytes but also their quality, having more oocytes with normal morphology that could generate more blastocyst after in vitro fertilization in melatonin (10−5 mol/L)‐treated group than that in the controls. When these blastocysts were transferred to recipients, the litter size was also significantly larger in melatonin treated mice than that in controls. The increases in TAOC and SOD level and decreases in MDA were detected in ovaries and uterus from melatonin‐treated mice compared to the controls. Melatonin reduced ROS level and maintained mitochondrial membrane potential in the oocytes cultured in vitro. Mechanistically studies revealed that the beneficial effects of melatonin on oocytes were mediated by MT1 receptor and AMPK pathway. Thereafter, MT1 knocking out (MT1‐KO) were generated and shown significantly reduced number of oocytes and litter size. The expression of SIRT1, C‐myc, and CHOP were downregulated in the ovary of MT1‐KO mice, but SIRT1 and p‐NF‐kB protein level were elevated in response to disturbed redox balance. The results have convincingly proven that melatonin administration delays ovary aging and improves fertility in mice via MT1/AMPK pathway.
The gut microbiota, identified as the target for vegetables, can affect the development of obesity and associated metabolic syndromes. As a medicinal and edible plant, Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem (LC) has abundant nutrients that can effectively reduce obesity risk. However, the interaction between the prevention effects of LC against obesity and the modulating gut microbiota of LC remain obscure. This study demonstrated LC supplementation improved high‐fat diet (HFD)–induced gut microbiota dysbiosis and significantly enhanced short‐chain fatty acid (SCFA)–producing bacteria (e.g., Blautia) along with SCFA content accumulation in the gut. Meanwhile, LC supplementation substantially restored gut barrier damage in long‐term HFD treatment Moreover, LC supplementation improved HFD‐induced overweight, hyperlipidemia, insulin resistance, and chronic inflammation. Gene expression profiles showed that LC displayed an important impact on hepatic lipid transport and lipid synthesis (sterol regulatory element binding transcriptional factor 1c–peroxisome proliferator‐activated receptor γ signaling pathway). More importantly, an antibiotic treatment experiment demonstrated that the beneficial effects of LC in reducing obesity risk largely depended on the gut microbiota, especially SCFA‐producing bacteria (e.g., Blautia). Therefore, LC supplementation improved gut microbiota dysbiosis via enhancing SCFA‐producing bacteria (e.g., Blautia), maintained gut barrier integrity, and alleviated the development of obesity. Overall, LC would provide a potential dietary intervention strategy against obesity and enteral homeostasis dysbiosis through modulating the gut microbiota.—Zhang, L., Shi, M., Ji, J., Hu, X., Chen, F. Gut microbiota determines the prevention effects of Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem supplementation against obesity and associated metabolic disorders induced by high‐fat diet. FASEB J. 33, 10339–10352 (2019). http://www.fasebj.org
BackgroundEmbryo implantation is crucial for animal reproduction. Unsuccessful embryo implantation leads to pregnancy failure, especially in human-assisted conception. Environmental factors have a profound impact on embryo implantation. Because people are being exposed to more light at night, the influence of long-term light exposure on embryo implantation should be explored.MethodsThe effects of long photoperiodic exposure and melatonin on embryo implantation and offspring growth were examined. Long photoperiodic exposure (18:6 h light:dark) was selected to resemble light pollution. Melatonin (10−2, 10−3, 10−4, 10−5 M) was added to the drinking water of mice starting at Day 1 (vaginal plugs) until delivery.ResultsMelatonin treatment (10−4,10−5 M) significantly increased litter sizes compared to untreated controls (12.9 ± 0.40 and 12.2 ± 1.01 vs. 11.5 ± 0.43; P < 0.05). The most effective concentration of melatonin (10−4 M) was selected for further investigation. No remarkable differences were found between melatonin-treated mice and controls in terms of the pups’ birth weights, weaning survival rates, and weaning weights. Long photoperiodic exposure significantly reduced the number of implantation sites in treated mice compared to controls (light/dark, 12/12 h), and melatonin rescued this negative effect. Mechanistic studies revealed that melatonin enhanced the serum 17β-estradiol (E2) levels in the pregnant mice and upregulated the expression of the receptors MT1 and MT2 and p53 in uterine tissue. All of these factors may contribute to the beneficial effects of melatonin on embryo implantation in mice.ConclusionMelatonin treatment was associated with beneficial effects in pregnant mice, especially those subjected to long photoperiodic exposure. This was achieved by enhanced embryo implantation. At the molecular level, melatonin administration probably increases the E2 level during pregnancy and upregulates p53 expression by activating MT1/2 in the uterus. All of the changes may improve the microenvironment of the uterus and, thus, the outcomes of pregnancy.
Aims: In addition to pineal gland, many cells, tissues, and organs also synthesize melatonin (N-acetyl-5methoxytryptamine). Embryos are a group of special cells and whether they can synthesize melatonin is still an open question. However, melatonin application promoted embryo development in many species in in vitro condition. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether embryos can synthesize melatonin; if it is so, what are the impacts of the endogenously produced melatonin on embryo development and the associated molecular mechanisms. These have never been reported previously. Results: Melatonin synthesis was observed at different stages of embryonic development. Aanat (aralkylamine N-acetyltransferase), a rate-limiting enzyme for melatonin production, was found to mostly localize in the mitochondria. Aanat knockdown significantly impeded embryonic development, and melatonin supplementation rescued it. The potential mechanisms might be that melatonin preserved mitochondrial intact and its function, thus providing sufficient adenosine 5¢-triphosphate for the embryo development. In addition, melatonin scavenged intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reduced the DNA mutation induced by oxidative stress. In the molecular level, Aanat knockdown reduced tet methylcytosine dioxygenase 2 (Tet2) expression and DNA demethylation in blastocyst and melatonin supplementation rescued these processes. Innovation: This is the first report to show that embryos synthesize melatonin, and its synthetic enzyme Aanat was located in the mitochondria of embryos. An effect of melatonin is to maintain Tet2 expression and normal methylation status, and thereby promote embryonic development. Conclusion: Embryos can produce melatonin that reduces ROS production, preserves mitochondrial function, and maintains Tet2 expression and the normal DNA methylation.
α-Ketoglutarate (α-KG) is an intermediary metabolite in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and functions to inhibit ATPase and maintain the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells (ESCs); however, little is known regarding the effects of α-KG on the development of preimplantation embryos. Herein, we report that α-KG (150 μM) treatment significantly promoted the blastocyst rate, the number of inner cell mass (ICM) cells and foetal growth after embryo transfer. Mechanistic studies revealed two important pathways involved in the α-KG effects on embryo development. First, α-KG modulates mitochondria function by inducing relatively low ATP production without modification of mitochondrial copy number. The relatively low energy metabolism preserves the pluripotency and competence of the ICM. Second, α-KG modifies epigenetics in embryos cultured in vitro by affecting the activity of the DNA demethylation enzyme TET and the DNA methylation gene Dnmt3a to increase the ratio of 5hmC/5mC ratio. Elevation of the 5hmC/5mC ratio not only promotes the pluripotency of the ICM but also leads to a methylation level in an in vitro embryo close to that in an in vivo embryo. All these functions of α-KG collectively contribute to an increase in the number of ICM cells, leading to greater adaptation of cultured embryos to in vitro conditions and promoting foetal growth after embryo transfer. Our findings provide basic knowledge regarding the mechanisms by which α-KG affects embryo development and cell differentiation.
scite is a Brooklyn-based organization that helps researchers better discover and understand research articles through Smart Citations–citations that display the context of the citation and describe whether the article provides supporting or contrasting evidence. scite is used by students and researchers from around the world and is funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health.
334 Leonard St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Copyright © 2024 scite LLC. All rights reserved.
Made with 💙 for researchers
Part of the Research Solutions Family.