Markers of cellular senescence are elevated in murine blastocysts cultured in vitro: molecular consequences of culture in atmospheric oxygen

Alexandra Meuter, Lisa Marlen Rogmann, Boris J. Winterhoff, Tamar Tchkonia, James L. Kirkland, Dean E. Morbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: We aimed to determine whether embryo culture induces markers of cellular senescence and whether these effects were dependent on culture conditions.

Methods: Murine blastocysts were derived in vitro and in vivo and assessed for 2 primary markers of senescence: senescence-associated β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) and phosphorylated H2A.X (γ-H2A.X), the latter being a mark of DNA oxidative damage. Expression of senescence-associated genes p21, p16, and interleukin 6 (IL6) were also assessed.

Results: Compared with in vivo–derived blastocysts, in vitro embryos had high levels of SA-β-gal, nuclear γ-H2A.X, and p21 mRNA expression, indicating that a senescence-like phenotype is induced by in vitro culture. To determine the role of culture conditions, we studied the effect of oxygen (5 % vs 20 %) and protein supplementation on senescence markers. Blastocysts in reduced oxygen (5 %) had low levels of both SA-β-gal and γ-H2A.X compared with blastocysts cultured in ambient oxygen. Senescence markers also were reduced in the presence of protein, suggesting that antioxidant properties of protein reduce oxidative DNA damage in vitro.

Conclusion: Elevated SA-β-gal, γ-H2A.X, and p21 suggest that in vitro stress can induce a senescence-like phenotype. Reduced oxygen during embryo culture minimizes these effects, providing further evidence for potential adverse effects of culturing embryos at ambient oxygen concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1267
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Volume31
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 23 2014

Keywords

  • Cellular senescence
  • Embryo culture
  • In vitro stress
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)

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