Exposure of bovine oocytes and embryos to elevated non-esterified fatty acid concentrations: integration of epigenetic and transcriptomic signatures in resultant blastocysts

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Title: Exposure of bovine oocytes and embryos to elevated non-esterified fatty acid concentrations: integration of epigenetic and transcriptomic signatures in resultant blastocysts
Authors: Desmet, Karolien
Van Hoeck, V.
Gagné, E.
O'Doherty, Alan
et al.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/8240
Date: 8-Dec-2016
Abstract: Background: Metabolic stress associated with negative energy balance in high producing dairy cattle and obesity in women is a risk factor for decreased fertility. Non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA) are involved in this pathogenesis as they jeopardize oocyte and embryo development. Growing evidence indicates that maternal metabolic disorders can disturb epigenetic programming, such as DNA methylation, in the offspring. Oocyte maturation and early embryo development coincide with methylation changes and both are sensitive to adverse environments. Therefore, we investigated whether elevated NEFA concentrations affect establishment and maintenance of DNA methylation in oocytes and embryos, subsequently altering transcriptomic profiles and developmental competence of resultant blastocysts. Results: Bovine oocytes and embryos were exposed to different NEFA concentrations in separate experiments. In the first experiment, oocytes were matured in vitro for 24 h in medium containing: 1) physiological ('BASAL') concentrations of oleic (OA), palmitic (PA) and stearic (SA) acid or 2) pathophysiological ('HIGH COMBI') concentrations of OA, PA and SA. In the second experiment, zygotes were cultivated in vitro for 6.5 days under BASAL or HIGH COMBI conditions. Developmental competence was evaluated by assessing cleavage and blastocyst rate. Overall gene expression and DNA methylation of resultant blastocysts were analyzed using microarray. DNA methylation data were re-evaluated by pyrosequencing. HIGH COMBI-exposed oocytes and embryos displayed a lower competence to develop into blastocysts compared to BASAL-exposed counterparts (19.3% compared to 23.2% and 18.2% compared to 25.3%, respectively) (P < 0.05). HIGH COMBI-exposed oocytes and embryos resulted in blastocysts with altered DNA methylation and transcriptomic fingerprints, compared to BASAL-exposed counterparts. Differences in gene expression and methylation were more pronounced after exposure during culture compared to maturation suggesting that zygotes are more susceptible to adverse environments. Main gene networks affected were related to lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, cell death, immune response and metabolic disorders. Conclusions: Overall, high variation in methylation between blastocysts made it difficult to draw conclusions concerning methylation of individual genes, although a clear overview of affected pathways was obtained. This may offer clues regarding the high rate of embryonic loss and metabolic diseases during later life observed in offspring from mothers displaying lipolytic disorders.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: BioMed Central
Copyright (published version): 2016 the Authors
Keywords: Oocyte;Embryo;Fertility;Free fatty acids;Maternal metabolism;DNA methylation;Epigenetics
DOI: 10.1186/s12864-016-3366-y
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Agriculture and Food Science Research Collection

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