Document Type : Original Article
Department of Reproductive Biotechnology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotechnology, ACECR, Isfahan, Iran;Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mas
Department of Reproductive Biotechnology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotechnology, ACECR, Isfahan, Iran
Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
Two critical points of early development are the first and second lineage segregations, which are regulated by a wide spectrum of molecular and cellular factors. Gene regulatory networks, are one of the important components which handle inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm (TE) fates and the pluripotency status across different mammalian species. Considering the importance of goats in agriculture and biotechnology, this study set out to investigate the dynamics of expression of the core pluripotency markers at the mRNA and protein levels.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, the expression pattern of three pluripotency markers (Oct4, Nanog and Sox2) and the linage specific markers (Rex1, Gata4 and Cdx2) were quantitatively assessed in in vitro matured (MII) oocytes and embryos at three distinctive stages: 8-16 cell stage, day-7 (D7) blastocysts and D14 blastocysts. Moreover, expression of Nanog, Oct4, Sox2 proteins, and their localization in the goat blastocyst was observed through immunocytochemistry.
Relative levels of mRNA transcripts for Nanog and Sox2 in D3 (8-16 cell) embryos were significantly higher than D7 blastocysts and mature oocytes, while Oct4 was only significantly higher than D7 blastocysts. However, the expression pattern of Rex1, as an epiblast linage marker, decreased from the oocyte to the D14 stage. The expression pattern of Gata4 and Cdx2, as extra embryonic linage markers, also showed a similar trend from oocyte to D3 while their expressions were up-regulated in D14 blastocysts.
Reduction in Nanog, Oct4, Sox2 mRNA transcription and a late increase in extra embryonic linage markers suggests that the developmental program of linage differentiation is retarded in goat embryos compared to previously reported data on mice and humans. This is likely related to late the implantation in goats.