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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1521428, 11 pages
Research Article

Response of Mouse Zygotes Treated with Mild Hydrogen Peroxide as a Model to Reveal Novel Mechanisms of Oxidative Stress-Induced Injury in Early Embryos

Reproductive Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Shantou University Medical College, Shantou University, Shantou, Guangdong, China

Received 14 April 2016; Revised 18 August 2016; Accepted 31 August 2016

Academic Editor: Gabriele Saretzki

Copyright © 2016 Diting Qian et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Our study aimed to develop embryo models to evaluate the impact of oxidative stress on embryo development. Mouse zygotes, which stayed at G1 phase, were treated with prepared culture medium (containing 0.00, 0.01, 0.02, 0.03, 0.04, 0.05, or 0.1 mM hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)) for 30 min in experiment 1. The dose-effects of H2O2 on embryo development were investigated via comparisons of the formation rate at each stage (2- and 4-cell embryos and blastocysts). Experiment 2 was carried out to compare behaviors of embryos in a mild oxidative-stressed status (0.03 mM H2O2) with those in a control (0 mM H2O2). Reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, variation of mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), expression of γH2AX, and cell apoptosis rate of blastocyst were detected. We observed a dose-dependent decrease on cleavage and blastocyst rates. Besides, higher level of ROS, rapid reduction of MMP, and the appearance of γH2AX revealed that embryos are injured early in mild oxidative stress. Additionally, γH2AX may involve during DNA damage response in early embryos. And the apoptotic rate of blastocyst may significantly increase when DNA damage repair is inadequate. Most importantly, our research provides embryo models to study cell cycle regulation and DNA damage response under condition of different levels of oxidative stress.