Title
Oocyte developmental failure in response to elevated nonesterified fatty acid concentrations : mechanistic insights Oocyte developmental failure in response to elevated nonesterified fatty acid concentrations : mechanistic insights
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Veterinary Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Cambridge ,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Reproduction / Society for the Study of Fertility [Cambridge] - Cambridge
Volume/pages
145(2013) :1 , p. 33-44
ISSN
1470-1626
ISI
000314320900008
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Elevated plasma nonesterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations are associated with negative energy balance and metabolic disorders such as obesity and type II diabetes. Such increased plasma NEFA concentrations induce changes in the microenvironment of the ovarian follicle, which can compromise oocyte competence. Exposing oocytes to elevated NEFA concentrations during maturation affects the gene expression and phenotype of the subsequent embryo, notably prompting a disrupted oxidative metabolism. We hypothesized that these changes in the embryo are a consequence of modified energy metabolism in the oocyte. To investigate this, bovine cumulus oocyte complexes were matured under elevated NEFA conditions, and energy metabolism-related gene expression, mitochondrial function, and ultrastructure evaluated. It was found that expression of genes related to REDOX maintenance was modified in NEFA-exposed oocytes, cumulus cells, and resultant blastocysts. Moreover, the expression of genes related to fatty acid synthesis in embryos that developed from NEFA-exposed oocytes was upregulated. From a functional perspective, inhibition of fatty acid beta-oxidation in maturing oocytes exposed to elevated NEFA concentrations restored developmental competence. There were no clear differences in mitochondrial morphology or oxygen consumption between treatments, although there was a trend for a higher mitochondrial membrane potential in zygotes derived from NEFA-exposed oocytes. These data show that the degree of mitochondrial fatty acid beta-oxidation has a decisive impact on the development of NEFA-exposed oocytes. Furthermore, the gene expression data suggest that the resulting embryos adapt through altered metabolic strategies, which might explain the aberrant energy metabolism previously observed in these embryos originating from NEFA-exposed maturing oocytes. Reproduction (2013) 145 33-44
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