Fatty acid composition of lipids in immature cattle, pig and sheep oocytes with intact zona pellucida.J Reprod Fertil. 2000 Jan; 118(1):163-70.JR
Cattle, pig and sheep oocytes isolated from healthy cumulus-oocyte complexes were pooled, within species, to provide samples of immature denuded oocytes with intact zona pellucida (n = 1000 per sample) for determination of fatty acid mass and composition in total lipid, constituent phospholipid and triglyceride. Acyl-containing lipid extracts, transmethylated in the presence of a reference penta-decaenoic acid (15:0), yielded fatty acid methyl esters which were analysed by gas chromatograph. Mean (+/- SEM) fatty acid content in samples of pig oocytes (161 +/- 18 micrograms per 1000 oocytes) was greater than that in cattle (63 +/- 6 micrograms; P < 0.01) and sheep oocytes (89 +/- 7 micrograms; P < 0.05). Of 24 fatty acids detected, palmitic (16:0; 25-35%, w/w), stearic (18:0; 14-16%) and oleic (18:1n-9; 22-26%) acids were most prominent in all three species. Saturated fatty acids (mean = 45-55%, w/w) were more abundant than mono- (27-34%) or polyunsaturates (11-21%). Fatty acids of the n-6 series, notably linoleic (18:2n-6; 5-8%, w/w) and arachidonic acid (20:4n-6; 1-3%), were the most abundant polyunsaturates. Phospholipid consistently accounted for a quarter of all fatty acids in the three species, but ruminant oocytes had a lower complement of polyunsaturates (14-19%, w/w) in this fraction than pig oocytes (34%, w/w) which, for example, had a three- to fourfold greater linoleic acid content. An estimated 74 ng of fatty acid was sequestered in the triglyceride fraction of individual pig oocytes compared with 23-25 ng in ruminant oocytes (P < 0.01). It is concluded that the greater fatty acid content of pig oocytes is primarily due to more abundant triglyceride reserves. Furthermore, this species-specific difference, and that in respect of polyunsaturated fatty acid reserves, may underlie the contrasting chilling, culture and cryopreservation sensitivities of embryos derived from pig and ruminant (cattle, sheep) oocytes.