The role of honeybee pollen as a natural source of antioxidants in the in vitro maturation medium of sheep oocytes and its effect on gene expression

Journal Article
Alajmi, Ibrahim Abdalla Hassan Barakat, Aaishah M. Kaabi, Reem A. . 2020
Publication Work Type: 
Magazine \ Newspaper: 
Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Volume Number: 
Publication Abstract: 

This study aimed to investigate the effect of honeybee pollen as an antioxidant source in a maturation medium of sheep oocytes on the in vitro maturation rate, glutathione concentration, and gene expression. To our knowledge, this study might be the first of its kind in this field. Sheep oocytes were cultured in vitro with honeybee pollen at four different concentrations (0.0, 1.0, 10.0, and 50.0 μg/ml). The results indicated that the ratio of oocytes that reached metaphase II stage was higher in the honeybee pollen-treated groups than in the control group (p ≤ 0.05). The reduced glutathione (GSH) mean content of matured oocytes was 9.85 nmol/25 oocytes, when honeybee pollen was added to the in vitro maturation (IVM) medium at a concentration of 1.0 μg/ml, compared with 5.84 and 4.44 nmol when using 10.0 and 50.0 μg/ml honeybee pollen, respectively. On the other hand, there was no significant difference in glutathione concentration between the control and 1.0 μg/ml honeybee pollen groups. Expression of candidate genes (GDF-9, BAX, Cyclin B, C-MOS, and IGF1) was upregulated in oocytes cultured with honeybee pollen when compared with oocytes cultured without honeybee pollen. In conclusion, the addition of honeybee pollen at a concentration of 1.0 μg/ml to IVM medium improved the in vitro maturation rate of sheep oocytes, increased the glutathione concentration, and improved gene expression.