Deoxynivalenol exposure induces autophagy/apoptosis and epigenetic modification changes during porcine oocyte maturation

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Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a widespread trichothecene mycotoxin which contaminates agricultural staples and elicits a complex spectrum of toxic effects on humans and animals. It has been shown that DON impairs oocyte maturation, reproductive function and causes abnormal fetal development in mammals; however, the mechanisms remain unclear. In the present study, we investigate the possible reasons of the toxic effects of DON on porcine oocytes. Our results showed that DON significantly inhibited porcine oocyte maturation and disrupted meiotic spindle by reducing p-MAPK protein level, which caused retardation of cell cycle progression. In addition, up-regulated LC3 protein expression and aberrant Lamp2, LC3 and mTOR mRNA levels were observed with DON exposure, together with Annexin V-FITC staining assay analysis, these results indicated that DON treatment induced autophagy/apoptosis in porcine oocytes. We also showed that DON exposure increased DNA methylation level in porcine oocytes through altering DNMT3A mRNA levels. Histone methylation levels were also changed showing with increased H3K27me3 and H3K4me2 protein levels, and mRNA levels of their relative methyltransferase genes, indicating that epigenetic modifications were affected. Taken together, our results suggested that DON exposure reduced porcine oocytes maturation capability through affecting cytoskeletal dynamics, cell cycle, autophagy/apoptosis and epigenetic modifications.

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