• developmental competence;
  • histone acetylation;
  • in vitro maturation;
  • porcine oocyte;
  • sodium butyrate


Oocyte maturation is a complex process during which epigenetic modifications are dramatically changed, especially histone acetylation and phosphorylation. We have investigated the effects of NaBu (sodium butyrate), a natural HDAC (histone deacetylase) inhibitor, on porcine oocyte maturation at different stages and subsequent embryonic development to improve IVF (in vitro fertilization) and embryo production. COCs (cumulus oocyte complexes) were cultured, IVM (in vitro maturation) supplemented with 1 mM NaBu before or after GVBD [GV (germinal vesicle) breakdown] during maturation. NaBu delayed oocyte meiosis in the GV and GVBD stages in an exposure-dependent manner. However, the short treatment with 1 mM NaBu after GVBD significantly improved the meiotic competence. No positive effects of NaBu on GSH levels and subsequent embryonic development following IVF were seen. Transient exposure to NaBu after GVBD improves meiotic competence, but not subsequently, probably by having an effect on histone acetylation during oocyte maturation.