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Gad, A., L. Nemcova, M. Murin, J. Kanka, J. Laurincik, M. Benc, L. Pendovski, and R. Prochazka, "MicroRNA expression profile in porcine oocytes with different developmental competence derived from large or small follicles", Molecular Reproduction and Development, vol. 86, issue 4: John Wiley {&} Sons, Ltd, pp. 426–439, feb, 2019. AbstractWebsite

Oocyte developmental competence is acquired during folliculogenesis and regulated by complex molecular mechanisms. Several molecules are involved in these mechanisms, including microRNAs (miRNAs) that are essential for oocyte‐specific processes throughout the development. The objective of this study was to identify the expression profile of miRNAs in porcine oocytes derived from follicles of different sizes using RNA deep sequencing. Oocytes were aspirated from large (LO; 3–6 mm) or small (SO; 1.5–1.9 mm) follicles and tested for developmental competence and chromatin configurations. Small RNA libraries were constructed from both groups and then sequenced in an Illumina NextSeq. 500. Oocytes from the LO group exhibited higher developmental competence and different chromatin configuration compared with oocytes from the SO group. In total, 167 and 162 known miRNAs were detected in the LO and SO groups, respectively. MiR‐205, miR‐16, miR‐148a‐3p, and miR‐125b were among the top 10 highly expressed miRNAs in both groups. Eight miRNAs were differentially expressed (DE) between both groups. Target gene prediction and pathway analysis revealed 46 pathways that were enriched with miRNA‐target genes. The oocyte meiosis pathway and signaling pathways including FoxO, PI3K‐Akt, and cAMP were predictably targeted by DE miRNAs. These results give more insights into the potential role of miRNAs in regulating the oocyte development.

Gad, A., M. Hoelker, U. Besenfelder, V. Havlicek, U. Cinar, F. Rings, E. Held, I. Dufort, M. - A. Sirard, K. Schellander, et al., "Molecular Mechanisms and Pathways Involved in Bovine Embryonic Genome Activation and Their Regulation by Alternative In Vivo and In Vitro Culture Conditions.", Biology of reproduction, vol. 87, issue 4, pp. 1-13, 2012. Abstract

Understanding gene expression patterns in response to altered environmental conditions at different time points of the preimplantation period would improve our knowledge on regulation of embryonic development. Here we aimed to examine the effect of alternative in vivo and in vitro culture conditions at the time of major embryonic genome activation (EGA) on the development and transcriptome profile of bovine blastocysts. Four different blastocyst groups were produced under alternative in vivo and in vitro culture conditions before or after major EGA. Completely in vitro (IVP) and in vivo produced blastocysts were used as controls. We compared gene-expression patterns between each blastocyst group and in vivo blastocyst control group using EmbryoGENE's bovine microarray. The data showed that changing culture conditions from in vivo to in vitro or vice versa, either before or after the time of major EGA, had no effect on the developmental rates, however in vitro conditions during that time critically influenced the transcriptome of the blastocysts produced. The source of oocyte had a critical effect on developmental rates and the ability of the embryo to react to changing culture conditions. Ontological classification highlighted a marked contrast in expression patterns for lipid metabolism and oxidative stress response between blastocysts generated in vivo vs. in vitro, with opposite trends. Molecular mechanisms and pathways that are influenced by altered culture conditions during EGA were defined. These results will help in the development of new strategies to modify culture conditions at this critical stage to enhance the development of competent blastocysts.