2020 Volume 66 Issue 1 Pages 9-17
Lysosomal cathepsin, in particular cathepsin B (CTSB), plays an important role in implantation, pregnancy, and embryonic development. However, little is known about the mechanism related to the dynamic status of lysosomal cathepsins in bovine oocytes and preimplantation embryos. In the present study, we investigated the dynamics of gene expression, activity, and immunolocalization of CTSB, as well as the activities of lysosome, in bovine oocytes and preimplantation embryos. After gene expression analysis of several cathepsin-related genes, transcript levels of CTSB, CTSD and CTSZ were highest in Metaphase II (MII) oocytes followed by a significant decrease from the 8-cell embryo stage. Activity of CTSB showed a significant increase in 1-cell and morula stage embryos. Lysosomal activity was also significant higher in 1-cell and morula stages, which was consistent with CTSB activities. However, immunolocalization of CTSB did not show the similar pattern of CTSB and lysosomal activities. We also found significantly higher expression levels of CTSB transcript in the trophectoderm (TE) compared to inner cell mass (ICM), whereas activity and immunolocalization of CTSB showed an opposite pattern, i.e. significantly higher in ICM than TE. These patterns were confirmed by the same analysis using separated ICM and TE. Our results suggest that lysosomal CTSB has a pivotal role during embryonic development and differentiation, especially fertilization and the differentiation period.