Restoration of normal embryogenesis by mitochondrial supplementation in pig oocytes exhibiting mitochondrial DNA deficiency

Gael Cagnone, Te-Sha Tsai, Yogeshwar Makanji, Pamela Mary Matthews, Jodee Ann Gould, Michael S Bonkowski, Kirstin Elgass, Ashley S A Wong, Lindsay E Wu, Matthew McKenzie, David A Sinclair, Justin Charles St John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


An increasing number of women fail to achieve pregnancy due to either failed fertilization or embryo arrest during preimplantation development. This often results from decreased oocyte quality. Indeed, reduced mitochondrial DNA copy number (mitochondrial DNA deficiency) may disrupt oocyte quality in some women. To overcome mitochondrial DNA deficiency, whilst maintaining genetic identity, we supplemented pig oocytes selected for mitochondrial DNA deficiency, reduced cytoplasmic maturation and lower developmental competence, with autologous populations of mitochondrial isolate at fertilization. Supplementation increased development to blastocyst, the final stage of preimplantation development, and promoted mitochondrial DNA replication prior to embryonic genome activation in mitochondrial DNA deficient oocytes but not in oocytes with normal levels of mitochondrial DNA. Blastocysts exhibited transcriptome profiles more closely resembling those of blastocysts from developmentally competent oocytes. Furthermore, mitochondrial supplementation reduced gene expression patterns associated with metabolic disorders that were identified in blastocysts from mitochondrial DNA deficient oocytes. These results demonstrate the importance of the oocyte s mitochondrial DNA investment in fertilization outcome and subsequent embryo development to mitochondrial DNA deficient oocytes
Original languageEnglish
Article number23229
Pages (from-to)1 - 15
Number of pages15
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Animal biotechnology
  • Embryology
  • Gene expression

Cite this