Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 23 pp 25291—25303
Sorbitol accumulation decreases oocyte quality in aged mice by altering the intracellular redox balance
- 1 State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Clinical Center of Reproductive Medicine, First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, Jiangsu Province, China
Received: September 13, 2021 Accepted: November 24, 2021 Published: December 12, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.203747
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Sorbitol is a product of glucose metabolism through the polyol pathway. Many studies have demonstrated that excessive sorbitol can disrupt the intracellular redox balance. However, we still know very little about the impact of excessive intracellular sorbitol on oocyte quality, oocyte maturation, and embryo developmental potential. This study explored whether intracellular sorbitol accumulates in the oocytes of aged mice during in vitro maturation (IVM) and what roles sorbitol plays in oocyte development and maturation. Our results showed that sorbitol levels were significantly higher in in vitro-matured oocytes from aged mice than in oocytes from young mice (14.08 ± 3.78 vs. 0.23 ± 0.04 ng/oocyte). The expression of aldose reductase (AR) mRNA was significantly higher in the in vitro-cultured oocytes from 9-month-old mice than prior to culture. To decrease the excessive intracellular sorbitol in oocytes from aged mice, sorbinil, a specific inhibitor of aldose reductase, was supplemented in IVM medium, and the sorbitol level was significantly decreased (14.08 ± 3.78 vs. 0.48 ± 0.19 ng/oocyte). Our results indicated that the percentage of oocytes with first polar body extrusion (PBE) was significantly higher in the sorbinil group than in the aged group (82.4% ± 7.2% vs. 66.1% ± 6.9%), and the content of sorbitol was drastically increased in the aged group. The ROS fluorescence intensity in the sorbinil group was drastically lower than that in the aged group, while the GSH fluorescence intensity was significantly higher. Interestingly, SOD1 was upregulated in the sorbinil group. The present study suggests that excessive sorbitol accumulation is induced during IVM in aged mouse oocytes, which negatively influences oocyte quality by altering the intracellular redox balance. Inhibition of sorbitol accumulation may be a potential method to improve the nuclear maturation of aged oocytes.