Alpha-Lipoic Acid Can Overcome The Reduced Developmental Competency Induced by Alcohol Toxicity during Ovine Oocyte Maturation

Document Type : Original Article


1 .Department of Reproductive Biotechnology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotechnology, ACECR, Isfahan, Iran;.Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, College of Agriculture, Isfahan Univ

2 .Department of Reproductive Biotechnology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotechnology, ACECR, Isfahan, Iran

3 .Reproduction Genes and Development Group, Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, HawksheadLane Hatfield, Herts AL97TA, UK


Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) as a strong antioxidant has a protective effect. This study was designed to assess whether supplementation of maturation medium with ALA during in vitro maturation (IVM) can attenuate the toxic effect of ethanol.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, to assess the antioxidant capacity of ALA challenged by 1% ethanol during in vitro maturation, immature ovine oocytes were exposed to 1% alcohol in the presence or absence of 25 µM ALA during oocyte maturation. The cumulus expansion index, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), and thiol content levels were assessed in matured oocytes of various treatment groups. Consequently, the blastocyst formation rate of matured oocytes in various treatment groups were assessed. In addition, total cell number (TCN), cell allocation, DNA fragmentation, and relative gene expression of interested genes were assessed in resultant blastocysts.
The results revealed that alcohol significantly reduced cumulus cells (CCs) expansion index and blastocyst yield and rate of apoptosis in resultant embryos. Addition of 25 µM ALA to 1% ethanol during oocyte maturation decreased ROS level and elevated Thiolcontent. Furthermore, supplementation of maturation medium with ALA attenuated the effect of 1% ethanol and significantly increased the blastocyst formation and hatching rate as compared to control and ethanol groups. In addition, the quality of blastocysts produced in ALA+ethanol was improved based on the low number of TUNEL positive cells, the increased expression level of mRNA for pluripotency, and anti-oxidant markers, and decreased expression of apoptotic genes.
The current findings demonstrate that ALA can diminish the effect of ethanol, possibly by decreasing the ROS level and increasing Thiolcontent during oocyte maturation. Using the ALA supplement may have implications in protecting oocytes from alcohol toxicity in affected patients.