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


A. Gambini A , J. Jarazo A , R. Olivera A and D. Salamone A
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Facultad de Agronomia, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Capital Federal, Argentina

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 22(1) 184-184
Published: 8 December 2009


The availability of viable equine oocytes is a limiting factor on in vitro embryo production; therefore, it is necessary to assess some of the variables that affect oocyte viability. The aim of our study was to evaluate one of those variables: the effect of time between the collection of the ovary and oocyte in vitro maturation. Ovaries of slaughtered mares were collected during the breeding season (Argentine, Southern hemisphere). They were separated in bags every half hour and treated separately after arriving at the laboratory. COCs were recovered by a combination of scraping and washing of all visible follicles with a syringe filled with DMEM supplemented with 1 mM sodium pyruvate and 15 IU mL-1 heparin. COCs were matured for 24 to 26 h in 3 groups, according to time interval: 4 to 7 (group I), 7 to 10 (II), and 10 to 12 (III) hours. The medium for maturation was TCM-199 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), 1 μL mL-1 insulin-transferrin-selenium, 1 mM sodium pyruvate, 100 mM cysteamine, and 0.1 mg mL-1 of FSH at 39°C in a humidified atmosphere of 5% CO2 in air. The cumulus was removed by a trypsin treatment and vortexing in hyaluronidase (1 mg mL-1). Cloning and fusion procedures were performed following the zona-free technique described by Lagutina et al. (2007 Theriogenology 67, 90-98). Two experiments were carried out by using different activation protocols. In experiment 1, the activation process was 22 mM ionomycin in H-TALP for 4 min followed by 3h culture in 1.9 mM 6-DMAP in SOF, whereas in experiment 2, we used 8.7 mM ionomycin in H-TALP for 4 min followed by 4 h culture in 1 mM 6-DMAP and 10 mg mL-1 cycloheximide in SOF. Embryos were cultured in wells of well (WOW) system. Half of the medium was renewed on Day 3 with fresh SOF and on Day 5 with DMEM/F12 with 10% FBS. Cleavage was assessed 48 h after activation; the rate of blastocyst formation was recorded at Days 8 and 9. Results were compared using chi-square test (P < 0.05). In experiment 1, maturation rates were significantly different between group I (n = 135, 54.1%) and III (n = 94, 40.4%), group II did not differ from them (n = 138, 53%). Cleavage rates differed statistically between II (n = 44, 75%) and III (n = 27, 40.7%), but not with group I (n = 53, 98%). No significant differences were found in blastocyst development; however, we observed a certain tendency towards an increase in the blastocyst rate as the time interval was lower (I: 3/53, 5.7%; II: 1/44, 2.3%; III: 0/27, 0%). In experiment 2, there were no significant differences between group I and II in rates of maturation (n = 56, 59% v. n = 111, 44.5%), cleavage (n = 22, 91% v. n = 34, 82%) or blastocyst rates (1/22, 4.5% v. 7/34, 20.6%). We conclude that cloned equine embryo development, using the two activation protocols tested, is not affected when the time interval between ovary collection and oocyte IVM is within 4 to 10 h.

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