National Institute of Scientific and Technological Research

Buenos Aires, Argentina

National Institute of Scientific and Technological Research

Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Buemo C.P.,University of Buenos Aires | Buemo C.P.,National Institute of Scientific and Technological Research | Gambini A.,University of Buenos Aires | Gambini A.,National Institute of Scientific and Technological Research | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

In this study, we analyzed the effects of the cloned embryo aggregation on in vitro embryo development and embryo quality by measuring blastocyst diameter and cell number, DNA fragmentation levels and the expression of genes associated with pluripotency, apoptosis, trophoblast and DNA methylation in the porcine. Zona-free reconstructed cloned embryos were cultured in the well of the well system, placing one (1x non aggregated group) or three (3x group) embryos per microwell. Our results showed that aggregation of three embryos increased blastocyst formation rate and blastocyst diameter of cloned pig embryos. DNA fragmentation levels in 3x aggregated cloned blastocysts were significantly decreased compared to 1x blastocysts. Levels of Oct4, Klf4, Igf2, Bax and Dnmt 1 transcripts were significantly higher in aggregated embryos, whereas Nanog levels were not affected. Transcripts of Cdx2 and Bcl-xl were essentially non-detectable. Our study suggests that embryo aggregation in the porcine may be beneficial for cloned embryo development and embryo quality, through a reduction in apoptotic levels and an improvement in cell reprogramming. © 2016 Buemo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Moro L.N.,University of Buenos Aires | Moro L.N.,National Institute of Scientific and Technological Research | Hiriart M.I.,University of Buenos Aires | Hiriart M.I.,National Institute of Scientific and Technological Research | And 8 more authors.
Reproduction | Year: 2015

The aim of this study was to evaluate the capacity of domestic cat (Dc, Felis silvestris) oocytes to reprogram the nucleus of cheetah (Ch, Acinonyx jubatus) cells by interspecies SCNT (iSCNT), by using embryo aggregation. Dc oocytes were in vitro matured and subjected to zona pellucida free (ZP-free) SCNT or iSCNT, depending on whether the nucleus donor cell was of Dc or Ch respectively. ZP-free reconstructed embryos were then cultured in microwells individually (Dc1X and Ch1X groups) or in couples (Dc2X and Ch2X groups). Embryo aggregation improved in vitro development obtaining 27.4, 47.7, 16.7 and 28.3% of blastocyst rates in the Dc1X, Dc2X, Ch1X and Ch2X groups, respectively (P<0.05). Moreover, aggregation improved the morphological quality of blastocysts from the Dc2X over the Dc1X group. Gene expression analysis revealed that Ch1X and Ch2X blastocysts had significantly lower relative expression of OCT4, CDX2 and NANOG than the Dc1X, Dc2X and IVF control groups. The OCT4, NANOG, SOX2 and CDX2 genes were overexpressed in Dc1X blastocysts, but the relative expression of these four genes decreased in the Dc2X, reaching similar relative levels to those of Dc IVF blastocysts. In conclusion, Ch blastocysts were produced using Dc oocytes, but with lower relative expression of pluripotent and trophoblastic genes, indicating that nuclear reprogramming could be still incomplete. Despite this, embryo aggregation improved the development of Ch and Dc embryos, and normalized Dc gene expression, which suggests that this strategy could improve full-term developmental efficiency of cat and feline iSCNT embryos.

Gambini A.,University of Buenos Aires | Gambini A.,National Institute of Scientific and Technological Research | De Stefano A.,University of Buenos Aires | Jarazo J.,University of Buenos Aires | And 5 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2016

The low efficiency of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) makes it necessary to investigate new strategies to improve embryonic developmental competence. Embryo aggregation has been successfully applied to improve cloning efficiency in mammals, but it remains unclear whether it could also be beneficial for iSCNT. In this study, we first compared the effect of embryo aggregation over in vitro development and blastocyst quality of porcine, bovine, and feline zona-free (ZF) parthenogenetic (PA) embryos to test the effects of embryo aggregation on species that were later used as enucleated oocytes donors in our iSCNT study. We then assessed whether embryo aggregation could improve the in vitro development of ZF equine iSCNT embryos after reconstruction with porcine, bovine, and feline ooplasm. Bovine- and porcine-aggregated PA blastocysts had significantly larger diameters compared with nonaggregated embryos. On the other hand, feline- and bovine-aggregated PA embryos had higher blastocyst cell number. Embryo aggregation of equine-equine SCNT was found to be beneficial for embryo development as we have previously reported, but the aggregation of three ZF reconstructed embryos did not improve embryo developmental rates on iSCNT. In vitro embryo development of nonaggregated iSCNT was predominantly arrested around the stage when transcriptional activation of the embryonic genome is reported to start on the embryo of the donor species. Nevertheless, independent of embryo aggregation, equine blastocyst-like structures could be obtained in our study using domestic feline-enucleated oocytes. Taken together, these results reported that embryo aggregation enhance in vitro PA embryo development and embryo quality but effects vary depending on the species. Embryo aggregation also improves, as expected, the in vitro embryo development of equine-equine SCNT embryos; however, we did not observe positive effects on equine iSCNT embryo development. Among oocytes from domestic animals tested in our study, the feline ooplasm might be the most appropriate recipient to partially allow preimplantation embryo development of iSCNT equine embryos. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Gambini A.,University of Buenos Aires | Gambini A.,National Institute of Scientific and Technological Research | Jarazo J.,University of Buenos Aires | Olivera R.,University of Buenos Aires | And 2 more authors.
Biology of Reproduction | Year: 2012

The production of cloned equine embryos remains highly inefficient. Embryo aggregation has not yet been tested in the equine, and it might represent an interesting strategy to improve embryo development. This study evaluated the effect of cloned embryo aggregation on in vitro and in vivo equine embryo development. Zona-free reconstructed embryos were individually cultured in microwells (nonaggregated group) or as 2- or 3-embryo aggregates (aggregated groups). For in vitro development, they were cultured until blastocyst stage and then either fixed for Oct-4 immunocytochemical staining or maintained in in vitro culture where blastocyst expansion was measured daily until Day 17 or the day on which they collapsed. For in vivo assays, Day 7-8 blastocysts were transferred to synchronized mares and resultant vesicles, and cloned embryos were measured by ultrasonography. Embryo aggregation improved blastocyst rates on a per well basis, and aggregation did not imply additional oocytes to obtain blastocysts. Embryo aggregation improved embryo quality, nevertheless it did not affect Day 8 and Day 16 blastocyst Oct-4 expression patterns. Equine cloned blastocysts expanded and increased their cell numbers when they were maintained in in vitro culture, describing a particular pattern of embryo growth that was unexpectedly independent of embryo aggregation, as all embryos reached similar size after Day 7. Early pregnancy rates were higher using blastocysts derived from aggregated embryos, and advanced pregnancies as live healthy foals also resulted from aggregated embryos. These results indicate that the strategy of aggregating embryos can improve their development, supporting the establishment of equine cloned pregnancies. © 2012 by the society for the study of reproduction, Inc.

Gambini A.,University of Buenos Aires | Gambini A.,National Institute of Scientific and Technological Research | De Stefano A.,University of Buenos Aires | Bevacqua R.J.,University of Buenos Aires | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Embryo aggregation has been demonstrated to improve cloning efficiency in mammals. However, since no more than three embryos have been used for aggregation, the effect of using a larger number of cloned zygotes is unknown. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to determine whether increased numbers of cloned aggregated zygotes results in improved in vitro and in vivo embryo development in the equine. Zona-free reconstructed embryos (ZFRE's) were cultured in the well of the well system in four different experimental groups: I. 1x, only one ZFRE per microwell; II. 3x, three per microwell; III. 4x, four per microwell; and IV. 5x, five ZFRE's per microwell. Embryo size was measured on day 7, after which blastocysts from each experimental group were either a) maintained in culture from day 8 until day 16 to follow their growth rates, b) fixed to measure DNA fragmentation using the TUNEL assay, or c) transferred to synchronized mares. A higher blastocyst rate was observed on day 7 in the 4x group than in the 5x group. Non-Aggregated embryos were smaller on day 8 compared to those aggregated, but from then on the in vitro growth was not different among experimental groups. Apoptotic cells averaged 10% of total cells of day 8 blastocysts, independently of embryo aggregation. Only pregnancies resulting from the aggregation of up to four embryos per microwell went beyond the fifth month of gestation, and two of these pregnancies, derived from experimental groups 3x and 4x, resulted in live cloned foals. In summary, we showed that the in vitro and in vivo development of cloned zona-free embryos improved until the aggregation of four zygotes and declined when five reconstructed zygotes were aggregated. Copyright: © 2014 Gambini et al.

Andres G.,University of Buenos Aires | Andres G.,National Institute of Scientific and Technological Research | Javier J.,University of Buenos Aires | Florencia K.,University of Buenos Aires | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Animal Science | Year: 2014

The current limitations for obtaining ovaries from slaughterhouses and the low efficiency of in vivo follicular aspiration necessitate a complete understanding of the variables that affect oocyte developmental competence in the equine. For this reason, we assessed the effect on equine oocyte meiotic competence and the subsequent in vitro cloned embryo development of 1) the time interval between ovary collection and the onset of oocyte in vitro maturation (collection-maturation interval time) and 2) the pregnancy status of the donor mares. To define the collection-maturation interval time, collected oocytes were classified according to the slaughtering time and the pregnancy status of the mare. Maturation rate was recorded and some matured oocytes of each group were used to reconstruct zona free cloned embryos. Nuclear maturation rates were lower when the collection-maturation interval time exceeded 10 h as compared to 4 h (32/83 vs. 76/136, respectively; P = 0.0128) and when the donor mare was pregnant as compared to nonpregnant (53/146 vs. 177/329, respectively; P = 0.0004). Low rates of cleaved embryos were observed when the collection-maturation interval time exceeded 10 h as compared to 6 to 10 h (11/27 vs. 33/44, respectively; P = 0.0056), but the pregnancy status of donor mares did not affect cloned equine blastocyst development (3/49 vs. 1/27 for blastocyst rates of nonpregnant and pregnant groups, respectively; P = 1.00). These results indicate that, to apply assisted reproductive technologies in horses, oocytes should be harvested within approximately 10 h after ovary collection. Also, even though ovaries from pregnant mares are a potential source of oocytes, they should be processed at the end of the collection routine due to the lower collection and maturation rate in this group. © 2014 American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved.

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