Trans-ε-viniferin is a naturally occurring polyphenol belonging to the stilbenoid family that has been isolated from Vitis amurensis
, one of the most common wild grapes in Asia. We investigated the effects of trans-ε-viniferin on in vitro
maturation (IVM) and developmental competence after in vitro
fertilization (IVF) or parthenogenesis (PA). We observed that trans-ε-viniferin treatment during IVM did not improve nuclear maturation rates of oocytes in any group, but significantly increased (P
<0.05) intracellular glutathione (GSH) levels and reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in the 0.5 μM treatment group. Trans-ε-viniferin treatment during IVM of recipient oocytes promoted higher (P
<0.05) expression of DNA methyltransferase-1 (DNMT1) mRNA in the 0.5 μM treatment group as compared with the control group. However, the expression of essential transcriptional and apoptosis-related genes did not significantly differ from that of the control. In cumulus cells, pro-apoptosis gene expressions were changed as apoptosis decreased. Oocytes treated with trans-ε-viniferin during IVM did not have significantly different cleavage rates or blastocyst formation rates after PA, but total cell numbers were significantly higher (P
<0.05) in the 0.5 and 5.0 μM treatment groups compared with those in the control group. IVF embryos showed similar results. In conclusion, these results indicate that trans-ε-viniferin treatment during porcine IVM increased the total cell number of blastocysts, possibly by increasing intracellular GSH synthesis, reducing ROS levels, increasing DNMT1 gene expression of oocytes and decreasing pro-apoptosis gene expressions of cumulus cells.