Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Effects of age and equine follicle-stimulating hormone (eFSH) on collection and viability of equine oocytes assessed by morphology and developmental competency after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

J. L. Altermatt A , T. K. Suh A , J. E. Stokes A and E. M. Carnevale A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523-1683, USA.

B Corresponding author. Email: emc@colostate.edu

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 21(4) 615-623 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD08210
Submitted: 30 September 2008  Accepted: 6 February 2009   Published: 17 April 2009

Abstract

Young (4 to 9 yr) and old (≥20 yr) mares were treated with equine follicle-stimulating hormone (eFSH), and oocytes were collected for intracytoplasmic sperm injections (ICSI). Objectives were to compare: (1) number, morphology and developmental potential of oocytes collected from young v. old mares from cycles with or without exogenous eFSH and (2) oocyte morphology parameters with developmental competence. Oocytes were collected from preovulatory follicles 20 to 24 h after administration of recombinant equine LH and imaged before ICSI for morphological measurements. After ICSI, embryo development was assessed, and late morulae or blastocysts were transferred into recipients’ uteri. Cycles with eFSH treatment resulted in more follicles (1.8 v. 1.2) and more recovered oocytes (1.1 v. 0.8) than those without eFSH. Age and eFSH treatment did not effect cleavage, blastocyst and pregnancy rates. Treatment with eFSH had no effect on oocyte morphology, but age-associated changes were observed. In old mares, zona pellucidae (ZP) were thinner than in young mares, and perivitelline space and inner ZP volume (central cavity within the ZP) were larger and associated with oocytes that failed to develop. These results suggest that administration of eFSH can increase the number of oocytes collected per cycle. Oocyte morphology differed with age and was associated with developmental competence.

Additional keywords: assisted reproduction, maternal aging.


Acknowledgement

Funding provided by Colorado Racing Commission, benefactors to the Preservation of Equine Genetics and Honnen and Dupree Foundation Scholarships.


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