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Application of extracellular flux analysis for determining mitochondrial function in mammalian oocytes and early embryos

Muller, Bethany; Lewis, Niamh; Adeniyi, Tope; Leese, Henry J; Brison, Daniel; Sturmey, Roger G

Authors

Bethany Muller

Niamh Lewis

Tope Adeniyi

Henry J Leese

Daniel Brison

Abstract

Background Mitochondria provide the major source of ATP for mammalian oocyte maturation and early embryo development. Oxygen Consumption Rate (OCR) is an established measure of mitochondrial function. OCR by mammalian oocytes and embryos has generally been restricted to overall uptake and detailed understanding of the components of OCR dedicated to specific molecular events remains lacking.

Results Here, extracellular flux analysis (EFA) was applied to small groups of bovine, equine, mouse and human oocytes and bovine early embryos to measure OCR. Using EFA, we report the changes in mitochondrial activity during the processes of oocyte maturation, fertilization, and pre-implantation development to blastocyst stage in response to physiological demands in mammalian embryos. Crucially, we describe the real time partitioning of overall OCR to spare capacity, proton leak, non-mitochondrial and coupled respiration – showing that while there are alterations in activity over the course of development to respond to physiological demand, the overall efficiency is unchanged.

Conclusion EFA is shown to be able to measure mitochondrial function in small groups of mammalian oocytes and embryos in a manner which is robust, rapid and easy to use. EFA is non-invasive and allows real-time determination of the impact of compounds on OCR, facilitating an assessment of the parameters of mitochondrial activity. This provides proof-of-concept for EFA as an accessible system with which to study oocyte and embryo metabolism.

Institution Citation Muller, B., Lewis, N., Adeniyi, T., Leese, H. J., Brison, D., & Sturmey, R. G. Application of extracellular flux analysis for determining mitochondrial function in mammalian oocytes and early embryos
DOI https://doi.org/10.1101/626333
Publisher URL https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/626333v1
Additional Information Preprint hosted on BioRxiv Preprint server. Manuscript under consideration by BMCBiology