The aim of this study was to determine the effect of temporary inhibition of meiosis using the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor butyrolactone I (BLI) on gene expression in bovine oocytes and cumulus cells. Immature bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were assigned to groups: (i) Control COCs collected immediately after recovery from the ovary or (ii) after in vitro maturation (IVM) for 24 h, (iii) Inhibited COCs collected 24 h after incubation with 100 μm BLI or (iv) after meiotic inhibition for 24 h followed by IVM for a further 22 h. For mRNA relative abundance analysis, pools of 10 denuded oocytes and respective cumulus cells were collected. Transcripts related to cell cycle regulation and oocyte competence were evaluated in oocytes and cumulus cells by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Most of the examined transcripts were downregulated (p < 0.05) after IVM in control and inhibited oocytes (19 of 35). Nine transcripts remained stable (p > 0.05) after IVM in control oocytes; only INHBA did not show this pattern in inhibited oocytes. Seven genes were upregulated after IVM in control oocytes (p < 0.05), and only PLAT, RBP1 and INHBB were not upregulated in inhibited oocytes after IVM. In cumulus cells, six genes were upregulated (p < 0.05) after IVM and eight were downregulated (p < 0.05). Cells from inhibited oocytes showed the same pattern of expression regarding maturation profile, but were affected by the temporary meiosis inhibition of the oocyte when the same maturation stages were compared between inhibited and control groups. In conclusion, changes in transcript abundance in oocytes and cumulus cells during maturation in vitro were mostly mirrored after meiotic inhibition followed by maturation.
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