Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Conference Paper

Cumulus cells protect the oocyte against saturated free fatty acids

Hilde Aardema, Peter L.A.M. Vos, Bart M. Gadella

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In the cow a major characteristic of metabolic stress is an elevated level of plasma free fatty acid, due to increased lipid mobilization from adipose tissue. Elevated levels of free fatty acids in blood (complexed to albumin) are associated with increased lipotoxicity in non-adipose tissue. An overview is provided on the negative impact of free fatty acids and the metabolic stress imposed on the oocyte and early embryo and thus on bovine fertility. There is increasing evidence that in vitro as well as in vivo the elevated levels of free fatty acids in blood during metabolic stress can severely hamper oocyte and embryo development. However, fatty acids do also form an essential nutrient source for the oocyte and embryo, which indicates that these good and bad effects of fatty acids should be in subtle balance to optimize the developmental competence of the oocyte and embryo.


cumulus, fatty acid, oocyte.


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