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l-carnitine supplementation during vitrification or warming of in vivo-produced ovine embryos does not affect embryonic survival rates, but alters CrAT and PRDX1 expression.

  • Saraiva, Helena F R A1
  • Batista, Ribrio I T P2
  • Alfradique, Vivian A P2
  • Pinto, Pedro H N2
  • Ribeiro, Lilian S2
  • Oliveira, Clara S3
  • Souza-Fabjan, Joanna M G2
  • Camargo, Luiz S A4
  • Fonseca, Jeferson F5
  • Brandão, Felipe Z2
  • 1 Universidade Federal Fluminense, Vital Brazil St., 64, 24230-240 Niterói, RJ, Brazil. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Brazil)
  • 2 Universidade Federal Fluminense, Vital Brazil St., 64, 24230-240 Niterói, RJ, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 3 Embrapa Gado de Leite, 27640-000 Valença, RJ, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 4 Embrapa Gado de Leite, 36038-330 Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 5 Embrapa Caprinos e Ovinos, Coronel Pacheco, MG, Brazil. , (Brazil)
Published Article
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2017.09.022
PMID: 28965027


l-carnitine is an antioxidant and β-oxidation stimulator substance commonly used to improve metabolic performance of oocytes and embryos in in vitro systems. However, few studies have evaluated its beneficial effects in embryos produced in vivo. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of l-carnitine supplementation into vitrification or warming solutions on the post-warming character of day 6-7 in vivo-produced ovine embryos. l-carnitine (3.72 mM) was added to vitrification (Experiment 1) or warming solutions (Experiment 2). In experiments 1 and 2, the embryos were vitrified using straw and cryo-tip protocols, respectively. In vitro culture (IVC) of warmed embryos was performed for 72 h in order to evaluate survival rates, reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, total cell number (TCN), number of apoptotic cells, apoptotic index evaluation, and gene expression analysis of carnitine palmitoyltransferase I and 2 (CPT1 and CPT2), carnitine O-acetyltransferase (CrAT), and peroxiredoxin-1 (PRDX1). In experiment 1, survival rate, ROS levels after 24 h of IVC, total cell number at 24 h and 72 h, apoptotic cells and apoptotic index at 72 h of IVC were similar in embryos vitrified in medium supplemented with LC or not. Gene expression analysis showed no differences in CPT1 and CPT2 mRNA relative abundance in embryos of both experiments compared to fresh embryos (FE); however, CrAT was downregulated (p < 0.05) in C1, and PRDX1 was downregulated (p < 0.05) in both the control (C1) and l-carnitine (LC1) groups, compared to FE. Moreover, CrAT and PRDX1 were upregulated (p < 0.05) in C2, and CrAT was downregulated (p < 0.05) in LC2, in relation to FE. Although the short-term LC supplementation at 3.72 mM did not improve survival, and quality parameters of in vivo-produced ovine embryos, it could affect their quality at a molecular level. In conclusion, further investigations with different concentrations of LC and tools are needed for improvement of the efficiency of these strategies.

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