Biology of reproduction
Bovine oviductal monolayer and vesicle primary cultures express insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and -II mRNAs and polypeptides. Early bovine embryos also express IGF-I, IGF-II, IGF-I receptor, IGF-II receptor, and insulin receptor mRNAs. This study reports the expression of IGF binding protein (IGFBP) mRNAs and polypeptides in bovine oviduct primary cultures and IGFBP mRNAs in preattachment embryos. Release of immunoreactive IGF-I and IGF-II by oviduct cultures and bovine blastocysts was also determined. IGFBP-2, -3, -4, and -5 transcripts were observed in oviduct primary cultures throughout an 8-day interval. IGFBP-1 and -6 mRNAs were consistently not detected in the oviduct. Messenger RNAs encoding IGFBPs -2, -3, and -4 were detected throughout bovine preattachment development, while transcripts encoding IGFBP-5 were detected only in blastocysts. IGFBP-1 and -6 transcripts were not detected in early embryos. Ligand blot analysis with 125I-labeled IGF-II revealed the presence of four prominent polypeptide bands of approximate molecular masses 24, 31, and 36 kDa, and a broad band extending from 46 to 53 kDa, in conditioned media samples prepared from oviduct primary cultures. Western immunoblot analysis confirmed the identity of the 24-kDa, 31-kDa, and 36-kDa species as IGFBP-4, -5, and -2, respectively. Levels of the release of IGF-II from oviductal vesicle cultures were significantly greater than levels observed for monolayer cultures (p < 0.005). No significant difference in the levels of IGF-I release between monolayer and vesicle cultures was observed. Pools of 10 blastocysts released on average 36.2 +/- 3.9 pg of IGF-II per embryo, while the release of embryonic IGF-I was below the levels of detection for our assay. The results suggest that maternally derived IGF may be regulated by IGFBPs to support bovine preattachment development.