Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 2 of 2 items for

  • Author: W Y Kwong x
  • Refine by Access: All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Free access

W Y Kwong, S J Adamiak, A Gwynn, R Singh, and K D Sinclair

Maternal B-vitamin status at conception can affect fertility and the health of offspring. This study details transcript expression for genes encoding key enzymes in the linked methionine/folate cycles in the bovine oocyte, somatic cells of the ovarian follicle and pre-implantation embryo. Transcripts for all 12 enzymes that were studied and for the two folate receptors (FOLR1 and FOLR2) and reduced folate carrier (SLC19A1) were expressed in liver cells, but transcripts for betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase and methionine adenosyl transferase 1A were absent in all ovarian cells, and transcripts for FOLR2 were absent in embryonic cells. Transcripts for glycine methyltransferase were also absent/weak in cumulus and granulosa cells. The absence of these enzymes could have a profound effect on single-carbon metabolism within the ovary and pre-implantation embryo. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed SLC19A1 protein expression on the plasma and basal-lateral membranes of the pre-implantation embryo. The folate antagonist methotrexate (MTX) enters the cell via SLC19A1, and in the current study, MTX inclusion in bovine/ovine culture media at either 1 or 10 μM from the 1-cell stage inhibited embryo development beyond the 8-cell stage. Hypoxanthine and thymidine (100 μM) increased the proportion of embryos that developed to blastocysts, but the cell number was reduced by 20%. The reduced uptake of [35S] methionine into intra-cellular S-adenosylmethionine and S-adenosylhomocysteine pools, together with reduced uptake of glutamate and tryptophan, was consistent with depleted intra-cellular pools of reduced folates. These data provide an insight into the importance of maternal dietary folate/B-vitamin status during the peri-conceptional period.

Free access

K E Wonnacott, W Y Kwong, J Hughes, A M Salter, R G Lea, P C Garnsworthy, and K D Sinclair

The evidence that omega-3 (n-3) and -6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have differential effects on ovarian function, oocytes and embryo quality is inconsistent. We report on the effects of n-3 versus n-6 PUFA-enriched diets fed to 36 ewes over a 6-week period, prior to ovarian stimulation and follicular aspiration, on ovarian steroidogenic parameters and embryo quality. Follicle number and size were unaltered by diet, but follicular-fluid progesterone concentrations were greater in n-3 PUFA-fed ewes than in n-6 PUFA-fed ewes. The percentage of saturated FAs (mostly stearic acid) was greater in oocytes than in either granulosa cells or plasma, indicating selective uptake and/or de novo synthesis of saturated FAs at the expense of PUFAs by oocytes. High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) fractionated from sera of these ewes increased granulosa cell proliferation and steroidogenesis relative to the FA-free BSA control during culture, but there was no differential effect of n-3 and n-6 PUFAs on either oestradiol or progesterone production. HDL was ineffective in delivering FAs to embryos during culture, although n-6 PUFA HDL reduced embryo development. All blastocysts, irrespective of the treatment, contained high levels of unsaturated FAs, in particular linoleic acid. Transcripts for HDL and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptors (SCARB1 and LDLR) and stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) are reported in sheep embryos. HDL reduced the expression of transcripts for LDLR and SCD relative to the BSA control. The data support a differential effect of n-3 and n-6 PUFAs on ovarian steroidogenesis and pre-implantation development, the latter in the absence of a net uptake of FAs.