Description of a new mechanism involved in cellular communication between female reproductive system cells and oocyte mediated by extracellular vesicles and their impacts on oocyte maturation, fertilization and bovine embryo cleavage
The use of assisted reproduction techniques is an alternative to solve reproductive problems in domestic species and in humans. However, there is concern that the in vitro culture of gametes and embryos can cause epigenetics changes, which may lead to increased predisposition to cardiac and reproductive diseases as well as tumor development in adult life. Epigenetics changes are regulated by DNA methylation, by post-translational modifications of histones or by microRNAs (miRNA). The miRNAs are non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression during different processes of tissue differentiation. Recently, cell-secreted vesicles, called exosomes and microvesicles, were found in different body fluids containing bioactive material including miRNAs. These vesicles are considered a new class of cellular communication with possible implications in different physiological processes. However, its role in the acquisition of gametes' competence and in embryonic development is still largely unknown. The hypothesis that will be tested is that cell-secreted vesicles present in follicular fluid and oviduct are able to change the maturation and fertilization rates of oocytes cultured in vitro. To test this hypothesis vesicles will be isolated from follicular fluid or oviduct cell culture medium and added in oocyte and embryo culture media. The objective is to determine the effects exerted by these cell-secreted vesicles on oocyte maturation, fertilization and in vitro embryo cleavage rates. The results obtained in this project will allow the development of protocols for in vitro production of embryos similar to physiological conditions and with great impact in the assisted reproduction industry in cattle and humans. (AU)
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship:
CAVALCANTE MENDES DE AVILA, ANA CLARA FAQUINELI;
ANDRADE, GABRIELLA MAMEDE;
GIMENES, LINDSAY UNNO;
MEIRELLES, FLAVIO VIEIRA;
DA SILVEIRA, JULIANO COELHO.
Extracellular vesicles and its advances in female reproduction.
Web of Science Citations: 1.