Handmade cloning (HMC) has been used to generate transgenic pigs for biomedical research. Recently, we found that parthenogenetic activation (PA) of porcine oocytes and improved HMC efficiency could be achieved by treatment with sublethal high hydrostatic pressure (HHP). However, the molecular mechanism underlying the effects of HHP treatment on embryonic development is poorly understood and so was investigated in the present study. Thus, in the present study, we undertook genome-wide gene expression analysis in HHP-treated and untreated oocytes, as well as in 4-cell and blastocyst stage embryos derived by PA or HMC. Hierarchical clustering depicted stage-specific genomic expression profiling. At the 4-cell and blastocyst stages, 103 and 163 transcripts were differentially expressed between the HMC and PA embryos, respectively (P < 0.05). These transcripts are predominantly involved in regulating cellular differentiation, gene expression and cell-to-cell signalling. We found that 44 transcripts were altered by HHP treatment, with most exhibiting lower expression in HHP-treated oocytes. Genes involved in embryonic development were prominent among the transcripts affected by HHP. Two of these genes (INHBB and ME3) were further validated by quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. We also observed that HHP treatment activated expression of the imprinting gene DLX5 in 4-cell PA embryos. In conclusion, our genomic expression profiling data suggest that HHP alters the RNA constitution in porcine oocytes and affects the expression of imprinting genes during embryonic development.
Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 2014, Vol 26, p. 469-484