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β-carotene improves oocyte development and maturation under oxidative stress in vitro

Yu, S., Zhao, Y., Feng, Y., Zhang, H., Li, L., Shen, W., Zhao, M. and Min, L. (2019) β-carotene improves oocyte development and maturation under oxidative stress in vitro. In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology - Animal, 55 (7). pp. 548-558.

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Recently, the mean maternal age at first birth has been continuing to increase. The decline in the age-related fertility is due to the reduction in the number and the quality of the oocyte. An elevation in intra-ovarian reactive oxygen species (ROS) is correlated with the increase in maternal age, and the oxidative stress is involved in the decline in oocyte quality. Although β-carotene, a very effective quencher of ROS, has been found to have the beneficial contribution to the ovarian development and steroidogenesis, it is unknown the effect of β-carotene on the oocyte development especially oocyte maturation. This investigation aimed to explore the beneficial contribution of β-carotene on oocyte maturation under oxidative stress and the underlying mechanism. We found that the oxidative stress induced by ROS reagent Rosup inhibited oocyte development/maturation and parthenogenetic activation which could be dramatically rescued by β-carotene (57.1 ± 4.7% vs 78.9 ± 3.8%; p < 0.05) in vitro. The underlying mechanisms include that β-carotene not only reduces ROS formation and cell apoptosis, but also it can restore actin expression, cortical granule-free domain (CGFD) formation, mitochondria homogeneous distribution, and nuclear maturation. The data suggest that β-carotene acts as a potential antioxidant in the oocyte. Therefore, the findings from this investigation provide the fundamental 7knowledge for using β-carotene as an antioxidant to improve the oocyte quality and even the ovarian function.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer New York
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