The knowledge concerning redox and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated regulation of early embryo development is scarce and remains controversial. The aim of this work was to determine ROS production and redox state during early in vitro embryo development in sperm-mediated and parthenogenetic activation of bovine oocytes. Sperm-mediated oocyte activation was carried out in IVF-modified synthetic oviductal fluid (mSOF) with frozen-thawed semen. Parthenogenetic activation was performed in TALP plus ionomycin and then in IVF-mSOF with 6-dimethylaminopurine plus cytochalasin B. Embryos were cultured in IVF-mSOF. ROS and redox state were determined at each 2-h interval (7-24 h from activation) by 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate and RedoxSensor Red CC-1 fluorochromes respectively. ROS levels and redox state differed between activated and non-activated oocytes (P<0.05 by ANOVA). In sperm-activated oocytes, an increase was observed between 15 and 19 h (P<0.05). Conversely, in parthenogenetically activated oocytes, we observed a decrease at 9 h (P<0.05). In sperm-activated oocytes, ROS fluctuated throughout the 24 h, presenting peaks around 7, 19, and 24 h (P<0.05), while in parthenogenetic activation, peaks were detected at 7, 11, and 17 h (P<0.05). In the present work, we found clear distinctive metabolic patterns between normal and parthenogenetic zygotes. Oxidative activity and ROS production are an integral part of bovine zygote behavior, and defining a temporal pattern of change may be linked with developmental competence.S Morado, P Cetica, M Beconi, J G Thompson and G Dalvi
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