Effects of exposure to zearalenone on porcine oocytes and sperm during maturation and fertilization in vitro

J Reprod Dev. 2011 Sep;57(4):547-50. doi: 10.1262/jrd.11-026h. Epub 2011 May 23.


The influence of acute exposure to zearalenone (ZEN) on porcine oocyte maturation, fertilization or sperm penetration ability during both in vitro maturation and fertilization was evaluated. First, oocytes were cultured in ZEN-containing (0-1000 µg/l) maturation medium and then fertilized. The oocytes maturing in vitro without ZEN were then fertilized in ZEN-containing fertilization medium. The maturation rates of oocytes and penetration ability of sperm decreased significantly in the presence of 1000 µg/l of ZEN. However, neither increases in the rates of degeneration and DNA fragmentation of oocytes nor reductions in normal and polyspermic fertilization were observed. ZEN did not affect the sperm penetration rates; however, 1000 µg/l ZEN had positive effects on normal and polyspermic fertilization rates. Therefore, it can be suggested that an acute exposure of porcine oocytes during maturation and of oocytes and sperm during fertilization to ZEN up to 1000 µg/l may not affect the fertility of the oocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cumulus Cells / cytology
  • DNA Damage
  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Fertilization
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Male
  • Meiosis
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Oocytes / drug effects*
  • Sperm-Ovum Interactions / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism
  • Spermatozoa / pathology
  • Swine
  • Zearalenone / pharmacology*


  • Estrogens, Non-Steroidal
  • Zearalenone