The effect of glucosamine concentration on the development and sex ratio of bovine embryos

Koji Kimura, Hisataka Iwata, Jeremy G. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Glucosamine is a component of hyaluronic acid and an alternative substrate to glucose for the extracellular matrix synthesis of COCs. Its addition to an IVM medium reduces the glucose consumption of bovine COCs. Glucosamine is also metabolized to UDP-N-acetyl glucosamine (UDP-GlcNAc) via the hexosamine biosynthesis pathway and is utilized for O-linked glycosylation by the X-linked enzyme, O-linked GlcNAc transferase (OGT). Moreover, the inactivation of the second X chromosome in female embryos is influential in producing the sex ratio bias observed in vitro when embryos are cultured in the presence of glucose above 2.5 mM. Accordingly, the aim of this study is to examine whether the presence of glucosamine during maturation or embryo culture causes a sex ratio bias in bovine blastocysts. Glucosamine was added to the medium in three different embryo developmental periods: in vitro maturation, the one-cell to eight-cell stage (before the maternal-zygotic transition, MZT), and the eight-cell to blastocyst stage (after MZT). When glucosamine was added during in vitro maturation, the developmental competence of oocytes was severely compromised. However, the sex ratio of embryos was not influenced. When glucosamine was added to embryo culture medium during development from one-cell to eight-cell stage (before MZT), it affected neither the development nor the sex ratio of bovine embryos. Finally, when glucosamine was added after MZT, the development rate of embryos was severely decreased, and the sex ratio was skewed toward males. Moreover, an inhibitor of OGT, benzyl-2-acetamido-2-deoxy-α-d-galactopyranoside (BADGP), negated the effect of glucosamine on the sex ratio when it was added to embryo culture medium from the eight-cell to blastocyst stage (after MZT). These results suggest that, like glucose, the supplementation of glucosamine into the medium skewed the sex ratio to males and that OGT, an X-linked enzyme, was involved in this phenomenon. Moreover, this effect of glucosamine was limited only to when it was present in the embryo culture medium after MZT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-238
Number of pages11
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 30 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Bovine
  • Embryo
  • Glucosamine
  • Sex ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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