2015 Volume 61 Issue 2 Pages 106-115
The embryo culture technique has been improving, but the detailed demands for energy substrates such as glucose, fructose, pyruvate and lactate of preimplantation embryos are still unclear. In the present study, the demands of pig preimplantation embryos at each different developmental stage were investigated by use of parthenogenetic diploids as a model of pig preimplantation embryos. Pig parthenogenetic diploids showed different use of glucose and fructose before and after the 4-cell stage. Although glucose supported the development of pig embryos throughout the preimplantation stages and even maintained the expansion and hatching of blastocysts, it suppressed development to the blastocyst stage when glucose coexisted with pyruvate and lactate from 4 h after activation, but not after 48 h (early 4-cell stage). Since ketohexokinase that metabolizes fructose was not expressed in 2-cell and 4-cell diploids, a medium that included only fructose as a major energy substrate did not support early cleavage of pig diploids beyond the 4-cell stage, and almost no diploids developed to the morula stage just as in a medium without carbohydrates. These results may explain the different suppressive effects on pig preimplantation development between glucose and fructose when pyruvate and lactate were present in a medium. In addition, 4-cell diploids that had been cultured in a medium with pyruvate and lactate developed to the expanded blastocyst stage without any carbohydrates as a major energy substrate. These results show that the demands for carbohydrates are different depending on the developmental stage in pig preimplantation embryos.