Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Supplementing α-Linolenic acid in the in vitro maturation media improves nuclear maturation rate of oocytes and early embryonic development in the Nili Ravi buffalo

Asima Azam, Qaisar Shahzad, Asma-Ul-Husna, Saima Qadeer, Rabea Ejaz, Ali A. Fouladi-Nashta, Muhammad Khalid, Nemat Ullah, Tasneem Akhtar, Shamim Akhter

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The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of omega-3 poly unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), α-linolenic acid (ALA; 18:3 n-3) on the in vitro maturation (IVM) of buffalo oocytes and subsequent embryonic development. Buffalo cumulusoocyte complexes (COCs; n = 2282) were in vitro matured in TCM-199 (0.6% fatty acid free bovine serum albumin, 0.02 Units/ml FSH, 1 µg/ml 17-β-estradiol, 10 µg/ml epidermal growth factor, 50 µg/ml gentamicin) supplemented with 0 (control), 25, 50, 100, 150 or 300 µm ALA under an atmosphere of 5% CO2 in air at 38.5ºC for 22-24 h. The matured oocytes were then fertilized in Tyrode’s Albumin Lactate Pyruvate (TALP) medium and cultured in synthetic oviductal fluid (SOF) medium. Concentrations up to 100 μm ALA improves (P ≤ 0.05) the cumulus expansion compared to control. Higher percentage of oocytes reaching MII stage was observed at 50 μm and 100 μm of ALA compared to control (P ≤ 0.05). Concentrations of 150 and 300 µm ALA were detrimental both for cumulus expansion and nuclear maturation rate of buffalo oocytes. Moreover, supplementation with 100 μm ALA improved (P ≤ 0.05) cleavage rate compared to control and treatment with 50 and 100 μm ALA yielded significantly higher morulae compared to control. The results of present study indicate that the supplementation with 100 μm ALA to the IVM medium improves nuclear maturation rate of buffalo oocytes and subsequent early embryonic development.


α-linolenic acid, buffalo, embryonic development, nuclear maturation, omega-3 PUFAs.


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