The ATP-binding cassette sub-family B member 1 (ABCB1) plays a critical role in maintaining the metabolic capability of cells as an efflux transporter that pumps xenobiotics out of cells. We investigated the effects of highly expressed ABCB1 on the development and viability of cryopreserved bovine embryos. The ABCB1 level in cultured bovine embryos was decreased during development to blastocyst-stage compared to germinal vesicle- and second metaphase-stage oocytes. When bovine embryos were cultured with forskolin and/or rifampicin, the ABCB1 level was significantly increased in blastocysts but embryo development was not significantly improved. After embryo cryopreservation, highly ABCB1-expressed blastocysts exhibited significant increases in viability and hatching rates. The high viability of the cryopreserved blastocysts was accompanied by a significant increase in cell proliferation during culture for 48. h. Thus, ABCB1 is expressed in bovine oocytes and embryos, and the cellular quality of bovine blastocysts is improved by the enhancement of ABCB1 expression.
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