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    In this study, we built on our previous research that discovered that autophagy activated the metaphase I stage during porcine oocytes in vitro maturation. We investigated the relationship between autophagy and oocyte maturation. First, we confirmed whether autophagy was activated differently by different media (TCM199 and NCSU-23) during maturation. Then, we investigated whether oocyte maturation affected autophagic activation. In addition, we examined whether the inhibition of autophagy affected the nuclear maturation rate of porcine oocytes. As for the main experiment, we measured LC3-II levels using western blotting after inhibition of nuclear maturation via cAMP treatment in an in vitro culture to clarify whether nuclear maturation affected autophagy. After autophagy inhibition, we also counted matured oocytes by treating them with wortmannin or a E64d and pepstatin A mixture. Both groups, which had different treatment times of cAMP, showed the same levels of LC3-II, while the maturation rates were about four times higher after cAMP 22 h treatment than that of the 42 h treatment group. This indicated that neither cAMP nor nuclear status affected autophagy. Autophagy inhibition during in vitro oocyte maturation with wortmannin treatment reduced oocyte maturation rates by about half, while autophagy inhibition by the E64d and pepstatin A mixture treatment did not significantly affect the oocyte maturation. Therefore, wortmannin itself, or the autophagy induction step, but not the degradation step, is involved in the oocyte maturation of porcine oocytes. Overall, we propose that oocyte maturation does not stand upstream of autophagy activation, but autophagy may exist upstream of oocyte maturation.


    SeungHoon Lee, Haeyun Jeong, Hayeon Wi, Jin-Gu No, Whi-Cheul Lee, Seokho Kim, Hyeon Yang, Sung June Byun, Sejin Park, Jong Gug Kim. Autophagic activation in porcine oocytes is independent of meiotic progression. Zygote (Cambridge, England). 2023 Aug;31(4):380-385

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    PMID: 37212055

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