2016 Volume 62 Issue 1 Pages 79-86
The effects of lipid-rich bovine serum albumin (LR-BSA) on the development of porcine blastocysts produced in vitro were examined. Addition of 0.5 to 5 mg/ml LR-BSA to porcine blastocyst medium (PBM) from Day 5 (Day 0 = in vitro fertilization) significantly increased the hatching rates of blastocysts on Day 7 and the total cell numbers in Day-7 blastocysts. When Day-5 blastocysts were cultured with PBM alone, PBM containing LR-BSA, recombinant human serum albumin or fatty acid-free BSA, addition of LR-BSA significantly enhanced hatching rates and the cell number in blastocysts that survived compared with other treatments. The diameter, ATP content and numbers of both inner cell mass and total cells in Day-6 and Day-7 blastocysts cultured with PBM containing LR-BSA were significantly higher than in blastocysts cultured with PBM alone, whereas LR-BSA had no effect on mitochondrial membrane potential. The mRNA levels of enzymes involved in fatty acid metabolism and β-oxidation (ACSL1, ACSL3, CPT1, CPT2 and KAT) in Day-7 blastocysts were significantly upregulated by the addition of LR-BSA. The results indicated that LR-BSA enhanced hatching ability and quality of porcine blastocysts produced in vitro, as determined by ATP content, blastocyst diameter and expression levels of the specific genes, suggesting that the stimulatory effects of LR-BSA arise from lipids bound to albumin.