Expression of growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) during in vitro maturation in canine oocytes
The aim of this study was to characterize in canine oocytes and cumulus cells the dynamic expression of growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) in relation to meiotic development and cumulus expansion throughout in vitro maturation (IVM). Cumulus oocytes complexes (COCs) from ovaries of adult bitches were cultured intact for IVM during 0, 48, 72, and 96 hours. At 0 hours or after IVM, COCs were divided into two groups: one group remained with their cumulus cells and in the other group the cumulus cells were extracted. The expression levels of GDF-9 were determined in both groups using indirect immunofluorescence andWestern blot analysis. For immunofluorescence assay, in vivo-matured oocytes collected from oviducts were also used as a positive control. The nuclear stagewas analyzed in parallel with 40-6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining in denuded oocytes from all maturing groups. The intensity of fluorescence, indicative of GDF-9 expression level, decreased with time (P < 0.05). High expression was observed only in germinal vesicle nonmature oocytes; in contrast, second metaphase oocytes showed only low expression. Western blot analysis showed bands of approximately 56 kd and a split band of approximately 20 kd representing the proprotein and possibly two mature protein forms of GDF-9, respectively. The proproteinwas detected in all samples, and it was highly expressed before IVM and in a lesser degree, during the first 48 hours, declining thereafter in coincidence with the expansion of the cumulus cell (P < 0.05). There was a negative correlation (r ¼ 0.97; P < 0.05) between the expression level of GDF-9 and mucification. Mature forms were evident only in COCs, before culture and up to 48 hours of IVM. It was concluded that GDF-9 is expressed in canine oocytes and cumulus cells, mainly in the early developmental states, with low levels in mature oocytes in vitro and in vivo, representing the first approach of GDF-9 dynamic in dog oocyte maturation.
Artículo de publicación ISI
DOI: DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2013.06.001