Mitochondria-targeted therapeutics, MitoQ and BGP-15, reverse aging-associated meiotic spindle defects in mouse and human oocytes

Usama Al-Zubaidi, Deepak Adhikari, Ozgur Cinar, Qing-Hua Zhang, Wai Shan Yuen, Michael P. Murphy, Luk Rombauts, Rebecca L. Robker, John Carroll

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48 Citations (Scopus)


Study Question: Do mitochondria-targeted therapies reverse ageing- and oxidative stress-induced spindle defects in oocytes from mice and humans? Summary Answer: Exposure to MitoQ or BGP-15 during IVM protected against spindle and chromosomal defects in mouse oocytes exposed to oxidative stress or derived from reproductively aged mice whilst MitoQ promoted nuclear maturation and protected against chromosomal misalignments in human oocytes. What is Known Already: Spindle and chromosomal abnormalities in oocytes are more prevalent with maternal aging, increasing the risk of aneuploidy, miscarriage and genetic disorders such as Down's syndrome. The origin of compromised oocyte function may be founded in mitochondrial dysfunction and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS). Study Design, Size, Duration: Oocytes from young and old mice were treated with MitoQ and/or BGP-15 during IVM. To directly induce mitochondrial dysfunction, oocytes were treated with H2O2, and then treated the MitoQ and/or BGP-15. Immature human oocytes were cultured with or without MitoQ. Each experiment was repeated at least three times, and data were analyzed by unpairedsample t-test or chi-square test. Participants/Materials, Setting, Methods: Immature germinal vesicle (GV) stage oocytes from 1-, 12- and 18-monthold mice were obtained from preovulatory ovarian follicles. Oocytes were treated with MitoQ and/or BGP-15 during IVM. GV-stage human oocytes were cultured with or without MitoQ. Mitochondrial membrane potential and mitochondrial ROS were measured by live-cell imaging. Meiotic spindle and chromosome alignments were visualized by immunofluorescent labeling of fixed oocytes and the 3-dimensional images were analyzed by Imaris. Main Results and The Role of Chance: MitoQ or BGP-15 during IVM protects against spindle and chromosomal defects in oocytes exposed to oxidative stress and in oocytes from aged mice (P<0.001). In human oocytes, the presence of MitoQ during IVM promoted nuclear maturation and had a similar positive effect in protecting against chromosomal misalignments (P<0.001). Limitations, Reasons for Caution: Our study identifies two excellent candidates that may help to improve fertility in older women. However, these potential therapies must be tested for efficacy in clinical IVM systems, and undergo thorough examination of resultant offspring in preclinical models before utilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-784
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

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