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The role of IGF1 in the in vivo production of bovine embryos from superovulated donors

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Miguel Velazquez


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IGF1 plays an important role in bovine follicular growth, acquisition of oocyte competence and embryo viability. Current data also indicate a critical role for IGF1 in both the ovarian response and the embryo yield following the superovulatory treatments. IGF1 can have either positive or negative effects on embryo viability which is related to the concentration of IGF1 induced by superovulation treatment. These effects impact either on oocyte competence or directly on the embryo. Concentrations in the physiological range appear to result in the production of higher quality embryos, mainly due to the mitogenic and the anti-apoptotic activities of IGF1. However, high superovulatory responses are associated with decreased embryo viability and a concomitant increase in apoptosis. Studies in mice suggest that this increase in apoptosis is related to the downregulation of the IGF1 receptor in the embryo associated with high IGF1 concentrations. Strategies capable of controlling the IGF1 concentrations could be one approach to improve superovulation responses. A range of possible approaches for research within the IGF system in gonadotrophin-stimulated cattle is discussed in this review, including the possible use of superovulated female cattle as an alternative animal experimental model for research on reproductive disorders in humans associated with abnormal IGF1 concentrations.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Velazquez MA, Zaraza J, Oropeza A, Webb R, Niemann H

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Reproduction

Year: 2009

Volume: 137

Issue: 2

Pages: 161-180

Online publication date: 01/02/2009

Acceptance date: 21/11/2008

ISSN (print): 1470-1626

ISSN (electronic): 1741-7899

Publisher: BioScientifica Ltd.


DOI: 10.1530/REP-08-0362