DNA methylation in porcine preimplantation embryos developed in vivo and produced by in vitro fertilization, parthenogenetic activation and somatic cell nuclear transfer

Epigenetics. 2011 Feb;6(2):177-87. doi: 10.4161/epi.6.2.13519. Epub 2011 Feb 1.


DNA demethylation and remethylation are crucial for reprogramming of the differentiated parental/somatic genome in the recipient ooplasm upon somatic cell nuclear transfer. Here, we analyzed the DNA methylation dynamics during porcine preimplantation development. Porcine in vivo developed (IV), in vitro fertilized (IVF), somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) and parthenogenetically activated (PA) embryos were evaluated for DNA methylation quantification at different developmental stages. Fertilized (IV and IVF) one-cell stages lacked a substantial active demethylation of the paternal genome. Embryos produced under in vitro conditions had higher levels of DNA methylation than IV. A lineage-specific DNA methylation (hypermethylation of the inner cell mass and hypomethylation of the trophectoderm) was observed in porcine IV late blastocysts, but was absent in PA- and SCNT-derived blastocysts despite the occurrence of de novo methylation in early blastocysts. Comparable levels of DNA methylation were found in IV embryos and in 50% and 14% of SCNT early and late blastocysts, respectively. In conclusion, DNA methylation patterns were adversely affected by in vitro embryo production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocyst / metabolism*
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Fertilization in Vitro*
  • Nuclear Transfer Techniques*
  • Parthenogenesis / genetics*
  • Swine / embryology*
  • Swine / genetics