The mammalian oocytes undergo significant biochemical and structural modifications during maturation both in vitro and in vivo. These changes involve chromatin reorganization and modification within metabolic status of cytoplasmic organelles. After oocytes’ successful maturation the substantially increased storage of RNA was observed. Moreover, the early embryo interaction with maternal endometrial tissue after fertilization is up to now considered as the main marker of proper embryo implantation and early growth. In this study, we first investigated the expression profile of genes involved in blood vessel formation and blood circulation in porcine oocytes before and after in vitro maturation.
The cumulus-oocyte complexes were collected from pubertal Landrace gilts and classified as before in vitro maturation (in Vivo) or after in vitro maturation (in Vitro). The RNA was isolated from these two experimental groups and analyzed using Affymetrix microarrays.
We found an increased expression of genes involved in ontological groups such as “blood circulation” (TPM1, ECE1, ACTA2, EPHX2, EDNRA, NPR2, MYOF, TACR3, VEGFA, GUCY1B3), “blood vessel development” (ANGPTL4, CYR61, SEMA5A, ID1, RHOB, RTN4, IHH, ANGPT2, EDNRA, TGFBR3, MYO1E, MMP14), and “blood vessels morphogenesis” (ANGPT2, as well as other common transcripts) in in Vivo group as compared to decreased expression of these genes in in Vitro group of oocytes.
It has been suggested that investigated genes undergo significant expression before in vitro maturation, when enhanced storage of large amount of RNA takes place. Creating templates for synthesis of proteins is required for formation of fully mature gametes and early embryo growth. Therefore we hypothesized that the processes of vascularization and/or angiogenesis reach a high activity in immature oocytes and are distinct from achievement of maturational stage by oocytes in pigs.