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, 26 (3), 232-241

Effect of Exogenous Transforming Growth Factor β1 (TGF-β1) on Early Bovine Embryo Development

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Effect of Exogenous Transforming Growth Factor β1 (TGF-β1) on Early Bovine Embryo Development

Antonio D Barrera et al. Zygote.

Abstract

SummaryDuring preimplantation development, embryos are exposed and have the capacity to respond to different growth factors present in the maternal environment. Among these factors, transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) is a well known modulator of embryonic growth and development. However, its action during the first stages of development, when the embryo transits through the oviduct, has not been yet elucidated. The objective of the present study was to examine the effect of early exposure to exogenous TGF-β1 on embryo development and expression of pluripotency (OCT4, NANOG) and DNA methylation (DNMT1, DNMT3A, DNMT3B) genes in bovine embryos produced in vitro. First, gene expression analysis of TGF-β receptors confirmed a stage-specific expression pattern, showing greater mRNA abundance of TGFBR1 and TGFBR2 from the 2- to the 8-cell stage, before embryonic genome activation. Second, embryo culture for the first 48 h in serum-free CR1aa medium supplemented with 50 or 100 ng/ml recombinant TGF-β1 did not affect the cleavage and blastocyst rate (days 7 and 8). However, RT-qPCR analysis showed a significant increase in the relative abundance of NANOG and DNMT3A in the 8-cell stage embryos and expanded blastocysts (day 8) derived from TGF-β1 treated embryos. These results suggest an early action of exogenous TGF-β1 on the bovine embryo, highlighting the importance to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the role of TGF-β signalling during early embryogenesis.

Keywords: DNA methylation; Early development; Growth factors; Oviduct; Pluripotency.

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