Oviductal Extracellular Vesicles Enhance Porcine In Vitro Embryo Development by Modulating the Embryonic Transcriptome

Biomolecules. 2022 Sep 15;12(9):1300. doi: 10.3390/biom12091300.


Oviductal extracellular vesicles (oEVs) have been identified as important components of the oviductal fluid (OF) and have been pointed to as key modulators of gamete/embryo-maternal interactions. Here, we determined the functional impact of oEVs on embryo development and the embryonic transcriptome in porcine. Experiment 1 examined the effect of oEVs and OF on embryo development. In vitro-produced embryos were cultured with oEVs or OF for 2 or 7 days using an in vitro sequential system or without supplementation (control). Experiment 2 analyzed transcriptomic alterations of EV-treated embryos versus control and the oEVs RNA cargo by RNA-sequencing. Two days of EV treatment enhanced embryo development over time when compared to other treatments. Different RNA expression profiles between embryos treated with EVs for two or seven days and untreated controls were obtained, with 54 and 59 differentially expressed (DE) genes and six and seven DE miRNAs, respectively. In oEV RNA cargo, 12,998 RNAs and 163 miRNAs were identified. Integrative analyses pointed to specific oEV components that might act as modulators of the embryonic transcriptome, such as S100A11, ANXA2 or miR-21-5p. Overall, the findings suggested that oEVs could be a potential strategy to improve porcine IVP outcomes, particularly by using two days of EV treatment.

Keywords: embryo development; exosomes; extracellular vesicles; in vitro culture and porcine; in vitro embryo production; oviductal extracellular vesicles; oviductal fluid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic Development / genetics
  • Extracellular Vesicles* / genetics
  • Extracellular Vesicles* / metabolism
  • Female
  • MicroRNAs* / genetics
  • MicroRNAs* / metabolism
  • Oviducts* / metabolism
  • Swine
  • Transcriptome


  • MicroRNAs

Grant support

This work was supported by Ciências sem Fronteiras (205593/2014-3) (Brazil), EU-FECUND 312097, Crédit incitatifs INRA CI-PHASE 2015–2016, INRA founds (Exceptional Grant CA, 2017) and Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) grant 31003A_173171.