Ameliorative effect of bee products on in vitro maturation of sheep oocytes

Kaabi A, Barakat I, Alajmi R, Al-Khalaf A, Mehdi O (2022): Ameliorative effect of bee products on in vitro maturation of sheep oocytes. Vet Med-Czech 67, 179–189.

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The present study was undertaken to investigate the possible stimulating effects of Nigella sativa (N. sativa) honey, natural Saudi Sider honey, and honeybee pollen to the in vitro maturation (IVM) medium of sheep oocytes on their subsequent development. Hence, immature oocytes were exposed to various concentrations of natural Nigella sativa (N. sativa), and Saudi Sider honey (5, 10, and 20%), as well as honeybee pollen (1, 10, 50 μg/ml) during an in vitro maturation period (24 hours). After the exposure time, the maturation rate, glutathione (GSH) concentration, and candidate gene expression (GDF-9, MPF, CMOS, IGF-1, and BAX) were evaluated. Our results showed that the maturation rate was higher in the groups challenged with the lowest level of the bee products (5% and 1 μg/ml) when compared with that in the control group; where the mean number of oocytes in the metaphase II stage reached 0.360 for the honeybee pollen-treated group, 0.293 for the N. sativa-treated group, and 0.203 for the natural Saudi Sider honey-treated group. The glutathione level was significantly increased in the group exposed to N. sativa honey when compared with the other groups. Concerning the gene expression results, the Saudi Sider honey treatment showed the best results for all the genes except the CMOS gene, which was significantly higher than the GI and GII groups and lower than the GIV group and the BAX gene which did not show a significant difference when compared with the other groups. In conclusion, the addition of natural honey and honeybee pollen at a low concentration to an IVM medium improved the in vitro maturation rate, increased the glutathione level, and gene expression of the in vitro matured ovine oocytes.

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