Involvement of K+ATP and Ca2+ channels in hydrogen sulfide-suppressed ageing of porcine oocytes
Abstract Background: Hydrogen sulfide has been shown to improve the quality of oocytes destined for in vitro fertilization. Although hydrogen sulfide is capable of modulating ion channel activity in somatic cells, the role of hydrogen sulfide in gametes and embryos remains unknown. Our observations confirmed the hypothesis that the KATP and L-type Ca2+ ion channels play roles in porcine oocyte ageing and revealed a plausible contribution of hydrogen sulfide to the modulation of ion channel activity. Results: We confirmed the benefits of the activation and suppression of the KATP and L-type Ca2+ ion channels, respectively, for the preservation of oocyte quality. Conclusions: Our experiments identified hydrogen sulfide as promoting the desired ion channel activity, with the capacity to protect porcine oocytes against cell death. Further experiments are needed to determine the exact mechanism of hydrogen sulfide in gametes and embryos.