Iodoacetic acid disrupts mouse oocyte maturation by inducing oxidative stress and spindle abnormalities

Xiaofei Jiao, Andressa Gonsioroski, Jodi A Flaws, Huanyu Qiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Disinfection by-products (DBPs) are compounds produced during the water disinfection process. Iodoacetic acid (IAA) is one of the unregulated DBPs in drinking water, with potent cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in animals. However, whether IAA has toxic effects on oocyte maturation remains unclear. Here, we show that IAA exposure resulted in metaphase I (MI) arrest and polar-body-extrusion failure in mouse oocytes, indicating that IAA had adverse effects on mouse oocyte maturation in vitro. Particularly, IAA treatment caused abnormal spindle assembly and chromosome misalignment. Previous studies reported that IAA is a known inducer of oxidative stress in non-germline cells. Correspondingly, we found that IAA exposure increased the reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in oocytes in a dose-dependent manner, indicating IAA exposure could induce oxidative stress in oocytes. Simultaneously, DNA damage was also elevated in the nuclei of these IAA-exposed mouse oocytes, evidenced by increased γ-H2AX focus number. In addition, the un-arrested oocytes entered metaphase II (MII) with severe defects in spindle morphologies and chromosome alignment after 14-h IAA treatment. An antioxidant, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), reduced the elevated ROS level and restored the meiotic maturation in the IAA-exposed oocytes, which indicates that IAA-induced maturation failure in oocytes was mainly mediated by oxidative stress. Collectively, our results indicate that IAA exposure interfered with mouse oocyte maturation by elevating ROS levels, disrupting spindle assembly, inducing DNA damage, and causing MI arrest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number115601
Pages (from-to)115601
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue numberPt A
Early online dateOct 10 2020
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • DNA damage
  • Iodoacetic acid
  • Mouse oocyte
  • Oxidative stress
  • Spindle assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology


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