These authors contributed equally to this work.
Melatonin promotes the in vitro development of pronuclear embryos and increases the efficiency of blastocyst implantation in murine
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Pineal Research
Volume 55, Issue 3, pages 267–274, October 2013
How to Cite
Wang, F., Tian, X., Zhang, L., Tan, D., Reiter, R. J. and Liu, G. (2013), Melatonin promotes the in vitro development of pronuclear embryos and increases the efficiency of blastocyst implantation in murine. Journal of Pineal Research, 55: 267–274. doi: 10.1111/jpi.12069
- Issue published online: 6 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 21 MAY 2013 07:41AM EST
- Manuscript Received: 17 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 MAY 2013
- blastocyst transfer;
- pronuclear embryos
When a defect occurs in the in vitro development of a pronuclear embryo, the interruption of the subsequent implantation limits the success of assisted conception. This common problem remains to be solved. In this study, we observed that melatonin at its physiological concentration (10−7 m) significantly promoted the in vitro development of murine pronuclear embryos. This was indicated by the increased blastocyst rate, hatching blastocyst rate, and blastocyst cell number with melatonin treatment. In addition, when these blastocysts were implanted into female recipient mice, the pregnancy rates (95.0% versus control 67.8%), litter sizes (4.1 pups/litter versus control 2.7 pups/litter), and postnatal survival rates of offspring (96.84% versus control 81.24%) were significantly improved compared with their non-melatonin-treated counterparts. Mechanistic studies revealed that melatonin treatment upregulates gene expression of the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and the anti-apoptotic factor bcl-2 while downregulating the expression of pro-apoptotic genes p53 and caspase-3. Due to these changes, melatonin treatment reduces ROS production and cellular apoptosis during in vitro embryo development and improves the quality of blastocysts. The implantation of blastocysts with higher quality leads to more healthy offspring and increased pup survival.