The use of adenosine to inhibit oocyte meiotic resumption in Bos taurus during pre-IVM and its potential to improve oocyte competence

Theriogenology. 2020 Jan 15;142:207-215. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2019.10.001. Epub 2019 Oct 7.


One of the major challenges of artificial reproductive technologies is to develop new methods for producing greater numbers of embryos. An oocyte fosters the ability to develop into an embryo before oocyte meiotic resumption. The aim of the present study was to assess the effect of adenosine (ADO), a purine nucleoside found in follicular fluid, on the inhibition of oocyte meiotic resumption and the production of blastocysts. The results showed the efficacy of ADO to inhibit oocyte meiotic resumption. The use of ADO (3 mM) during a pre-in vitro maturation (pre-IVM) culture period of 6 h resulted in a significant increase (p < 0.05) of blastocysts compared to control conditions with no pre-IVM culture period. No effect on the percentage of cleavage was observed. The effect of adenosine on blastocyst yield was time- and concentration-dependent with an optimum effect at 3 mM for 6 h. Supplementing the ADO pre-IVM culture medium with estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone, progesterone, epidermal growth factor, insulin-like growth factor-2 or reelin did not improve the blastocyst yield. Transcriptional analyses of ADO-treated cumulus cells revealed that NRP1, RELN, MAN1A1, THRA and GATM were up-regulated. Finally, bioinformatic analysis identified mitochondrial function as the top canonical pathway affected by ADO. This opens up new opportunities for further investigations.

Keywords: Bovine; Embryo; Genomics; Meiotic arrest; Oocyte.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Cattle* / embryology
  • Cattle* / genetics
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media / pharmacology
  • Embryo Culture Techniques / methods
  • Embryo Culture Techniques / veterinary
  • Embryonic Development / drug effects*
  • Embryonic Development / genetics
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / methods
  • Fertilization in Vitro / veterinary
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / drug effects
  • In Vitro Oocyte Maturation Techniques* / methods
  • In Vitro Oocyte Maturation Techniques* / veterinary
  • Meiosis / drug effects*
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Oocytes / cytology
  • Oocytes / drug effects*
  • Oocytes / physiology


  • Culture Media
  • Adenosine