In vitro embryo production (IVP) response is reduced when compared to in vivo. The artificial maturation medium used cannot mimic completely the maternal environment, not meeting the physiological demands of the oocyte. Gaining knowledge of bovine oocyte maturation mechanisms, as well as understanding the influence of local and systemic factors, will provide bases to improve in vitro systems, approaching to physiological. Therefore, it would favor embryo IVP both in quantity and in quality of structures. Recent data show the involvement of the local factors Bone Morphogenetic Protein 15 (BMP15) and Fibroblast Growth Factor 16 (FGF16) in several tissues and animal organisms. However, little has been described about their influences on the process of gametogenesis, in particular, in the mechanism of oocyte maturation and acquisition of cumulus oocyte complex (COC) competency. The present study proposes to assess the in vitro effects of FGF16, BMP15 and their interaction on the process of maturation. The parameters preconized for this study are: nuclear maturation, energetic metabolism, cumulus expansion, apoptosis, production of steroids and expression of marker genes for competence in bovine COCs. These parameters could serve as predictive markers of oocyte quality, and eventually, embryo quality. COCs matured in supplemented mediums (control, FGF16, BMP15 and FGF16 + BMP15) will be analyzed at different times of IVM (0, 12 and 24 hours) in order to highlight the influences of these factors throughout maturation. It is expected that the effects of FGF16 and/or BMP15 to behave in favor of oocyte maturation and COC capacitation processes. It is also expected a synergistic interaction between both factors.
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