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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2023  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-48

Effects of N-acetylcysteine on growth, viability and reactive oxygen species levels in small antral follicles cultured in vitro


Laboratory of Biotechnology and Physiology of Reproduction, Federal University of Ceara, Av. Comandante Maurocélio Rocha Ponte 100, 62041-040, Sobral, CE, Brazil

Correspondence Address:
José R V Silva
Laboratory of Biotechnology and Physiology of Reproduction, Federal University of Ceara, Av. Comandante Maurocélio Rocha Ponte 100, 62041-040, Sobral, CE
Brazil
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Source of Support: This research was supported by grants from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, Brazil, grant number 308737/2018-0), Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2305-0500.365231

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Objective: To investigate the effects of different concentrations of N-acetylcysteine on follicular growth and morphology, as well as on viability, levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and meiotic progression of oocytes from in vitro cultured bovine early antral follicles. Methods: Isolated early antral follicles (about 500 μm) were cultured in TCM-199+ alone or supplemented with 1.0, 5.0 or 25.0 mM N-acetylcysteine at 38.5 °C with 5% CO2 for 8 days. Follicle diameters were evaluated at day 0, 4 and 8 of culture. At the end of culture, the levels of ROS, chromatin configuration and viability (calcein-AM and ethidium homodimer-1 staining) were investigated in the cumulus-oocyte complexes. Comparisons of follicle diameters between treatments were performed. Data on percentages of morphologically normal follicles, growth rates and chromatin configuration in different treatments were compared. Results: An increase in follicular diameters after culture in all treatments was observed, except for follicles cultured with 25.0 mM N-acetylcysteine. Fluorescence microscopy showed that oocytes cultured in all treatments were stained positively with calcein-AM, and that 5.0 mM N-acetylcysteine reduced fluorescence for ethidium homodimer-1. Intracellular levels of ROS in oocytes from follicles cultured with 1.0 mM N-acetylcysteine showed a significant reduction compared to other treatments. The presence of N-acetylcysteine in culture medium did not influence the rates of oocyte at the germinal vesicle stage. Conclusions: N-acetylcysteine at concentrations of 1.0 and 5.0 mM reduces ROS levels and staining for ethidium homodimer-1 in in vitro cultured follicles, respectively, while 25.0 mM N-acetylcysteine decreases follicular growth and the percentages of continuously growing follicles.


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