Up-Regulation of Insulin-Like Growth Factor I and Uteroglobin in In Vivo-Developed Parthenogenetic Embryos


Author’s address (for correspondence): F Marco-Jiménez, Laboratory of biotechnology of reproduction. Institute of Science and Animal Technology (ICTA) at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, C/Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain. E-mail: fmarco@dca.upv.es


Parthenote embryos are being considered as an alternative source of embryonic stem cells. However, as there is still a dearth of knowledge of this kind of embryos, a better understanding of their biology is needed for their application. In this work, we studied the differences and similarities between parthenotes and normal embryos at the blastocyst stage in vivo developed. We analysed the expression of factor OCT-4, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and uteroglobin (UG) by real-time PCR. To do so, oocytes were recovered and after activation procedure were transferred by ventral middle laparoscopy to receptive does to undergo completely in vivo development. Does were slaughtered 6 days post-ovulation induction, and parthenote and normal embryos were recovered for mRNA expression analysis. Our results reported that parthenotes and normal embryos showed similar mRNA expression for OCT-4 and VEGF. However, IGF-I and UG showed to be over-expressed in parthenote embryos. Thus, our study highlights that despite the in vivo development of parthenotes, they still seem to have an altered expression and, therefore, to be different to normal embryos. The altered expression pattern of parthenote embryos suggests that these embryos should be studied carefully before future application.