Anacardic Acid Reduces Acetylation of H4K12 in Mouse Oocytes during Vitrification

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Reproductive Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran ;Department of Biotechnology, School of Advanced Technologies in Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medica

3 Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 4Department of Transgenic Animal Science, Stem Cell Technology Research Center, Tehran, Iran


Over the last years, vitrification has been widely used for oocyte cryopreservation, in animals and humans; however, it frequently causes minor and major epigenetic modifications. The effect of oocyte vitrification on levels of acetylation of histone H4 at lysine 12 (AcH4K12), and histone acetyltransferase (Hat) expression, was previously assessed; however, little is known about the inhibition of Hat expression during oocyte vitrification. This study evaluated the effect of anacardic acid (AA) as a Hat inhibitor on vitrified mouse oocytes.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, 248 mouse oocytes at metaphase II (MII) stage were divided in three experimental groups namely, fresh control oocytes (which were not affected by vitrification), frozen/thawed oocytes (vitrified) and frozen/thawed oocytes pre-treated with AA (treatment). Out of 248 oocytes, 173 oocytes were selected and from them, 84 oocytes were vitrified without AA (vitrified group) and 89 oocytes were pretreated with AA, and then vitrified (treatment group). Fresh MII mouse oocytes were used as control group. Hat expression and AcH4K12 levels were assessed by using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunofluoresce staining, respectively. In addition, survival rate was determined in vitrified and treatment oocytes.
Hat expression and AcH4K12 modification significantly increased [4.17 ± 1.27 (P≤0.001) and 97.57 ± 6.30 (P < 0.001), respectively] in oocytes that were vitrified, compared to the fresh oocytes. After treatment with AA, the Hat mRNA expression and subsequently H4K12 acetylation levels were significantly reduced [0.12 ± 0.03 (P≤0.001) and 89.79 ± 3.20 (P≤0.05), respectively] in comparison to the vitrified group. However, the survival rate was not significantly different between the vitrified (90.47%) and treatment (91.01%) groups (P > 0.05).
The present study suggests that AA reduces vitrification risks caused by epigenetic modifications, but does not affect the quality of vitrification. In fact, AA as a Hat inhibitor was effective in reducing the acetylation levels of H4K12.