Effect of melatonin on in vitro maturation of bovine oocytes
To investigate the effect of different concentrations of melatonin on bovine oocytes in vitro maturation, varying concentrations of melatonin (0, 0.01, 1, 100 ìM), were included in the the maturation medium. Slaughterhouse derived oocytes were subjected to standard in vitro maturation procedures in high oxygen tension. After culture for 24 h, over 80% of COCs had full cumulus cells expansion. As melatonin concentration increased, the degree of cumulus cells expansion did not changed significantly. Oocytes incubated in 0.01 and 1 ìM melatonin-containing media for 24 h, result in 73.11 and 70.68% maturation rate, respectively, which were no different from the control (72.24%). The maturation rate decreased (P < 0.05) significantly when melatonin concentrations was increased from 0.01 to 1 and 100 ìM (73.11 vs 70.68% and 65.24% respectively). After culture in melatonin-containing media for 24 h, 100% oocytes achieved GVBD stage in all groups. There were no significant differences among groups at GVBD stage. But oocytes that remained at metaphase-I stage were significant (P < 0.05) different with 100 ìM in compare to other groups (21.32 Vs 17.67, 15.68, 16.53). In conclusion in this experiment, melatonin cannot improve cumulus cell expansion and nuclear maturation of bovine oocytes. When concentrations is high, melatonin may affect bovine oocytes meiotic maturation at metaphase-1 stage, but it is improbable melatonin be toxic for bovine oocytes.