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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.20.0046    [Accepted] Published online May 12, 2020.
The antioxidant icariin protects porcine oocytes from age-related damage in vitro
Jae-Wook Yoon1,2  , Seung-Eun Lee1,2  , Yun-Gwi Park1,2  , Won-Jae Kim1,2  , Hyo-Jin Park1,2  , Chan-Oh Park1,2  , So-Hee Kim1,2  , Seung-Hwan Oh1,2  , Do-Geon Lee1,2  , Da-Bin Pyeon1,2  , Eun-Young Kim1,2,3  , Se-Pill Park1,2,3,* 
1Faculty of Biotechnology, College of Applied Life Sciences, Jeju National University, Jeju 63243, Korea
2Stem Cell Research Center, Jeju National University, Jeju 63243, Korea
3Mirae Cell Bio, Seoul, 04795, Korea
Correspondence:  Se-Pill Park, Tel: +82-64-754-4650, Fax: +82-0303-3130-4650, Email: sppark@jejunu.ac.kr
Received: 28 January 2020   • Revised: 26 February 2020   • Accepted: 29 April 2020
If fertilization does not occur within a specific period of time, the quality of unfertilized oocytes in the oviduct (in vivo aging) or in culture (in vitro aging) will deteriorate over time. Icariin (ICA), found in all species of Epimedium herbs, has strong antioxidant activity and is thought to exert anti-aging effects in vitro. We asked whether ICA protects oocytes against age-related changes in vitro.
We analyzed the reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and expression of antioxidant, maternal, and estrogen receptor genes, and along with spindle morphology, and the developmental competence and quality of embryos in the presence and absence of ICA.
Treatment with 5 µM ICA (ICA-5) led to a significant reduction in ROS activity, but increased mRNA expression of glutathione and antioxidant genes (SOD1, SOD2, PRDX5, and NFE2L2), during aging in vitro. In addition, ICA-5 prevented defects in spindle formation and chromosomal alignment, and increased mRNA expression of cytoplasmic maturation factor genes (BMP15, CCNB1, MOS, and GDF9). It also prevented apoptosis, increased mRNA expression of anti-apoptotic genes (BCL2L1 and BIRC5), and reduced mRNA expression of pro-apoptotic genes (BAK1 and CASP3). Although the maturation and cleavage rates were similar in all groups, the total cell number per blastocyst and the percentage of apoptotic cells at the blastocyst stage were higher and lower, respectively, in the control and ICA-5 groups than in the aging group.
ICA protects oocytes against damage during aging in vitro; therefore, it can be used to improve assisted reproductive technologies.
Keywords: In vitro Aging; Porcine; Oocyte; Icariin; Antioxidant
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