The Imitation of the Ovarian Fatty Acid Profile of Superfertile Dummerstorf Mouse Lines during IVM of Control Line Oocytes Could Influence Their Maturation Rates
Declining human fertility worldwide is an attractive research target for the search for “high fertility” genes and pathways to counteract this problem. To study these genes and pathways for high fertility, the superfertile Dummerstorf mouse lines FL1 and FL2 are two unique model organisms representing an improved fertility phenotype. A direct reason for this remarkable characteristic of increased litter size, which reaches >20 pups/litter in both FLs, is the raised ovulation rate by approximately 100%, representing an impressive record in this field. Dummerstorf high-fertility lines incarnate extraordinary and singular models of high-fertility for other species, mostly farm animals, with the aim of improving production and reducing costs. Our main goal is to describe the genetic and molecular pathways to reach their phenotypical excellence, and to reproduce them using the control population. The large litter size and ovulation rate in Dummerstorf lines are mostly due to an increase in the quality of their oocytes, which receive a different intake of fat and are composed of different types and concentrations of fatty acids. As the follicular microenvironment plays a fundamental role during the oocytes development, in the present manuscript, we tried to improve the in vitro maturation technique by mimicking the fatty acid profile of FLs oocytes during the IVM of control oocytes. Currently, the optimization of the IVM system is fundamental mostly for prepubertal girls and oncological patients whose main source of gametes to restore fertility may be their maturation in vitro. Our data suggest that the specific fatty acid composition of FLs COCs can contribute to their high-fertility phenotype. Indeed, COCs from the control line matured in IVM-medium supplemented with C14:0 (high in FL2 COCs) or with C20:0, C21:0, C22:0, and C23:0 (high in FL1 COCs), but also control oocytes without cumulus, whose concentration in long-chain FAs are “naturally” higher, showing a slightly higher maturation rate. These findings represent an important starting point for the optimization of the IVM system using FA supplementation.