We previously reported that superstimulatory (SS) treatment-induced follicular wave synchronization after ovum pickup (OPU) was effective in enhancing the quality of obtained oocytes and blastocysts derived from in vitro maturation (IVM) and fertilization (IVF; Imai et al. 2010 Reprod. Fertil. Dev. 22, 296). The present study was designed to examine the efficiency of embryo production by 4 sessions of OPU-IVF using a series of the SS treatment-induced follicular wave synchronizations. For the SS protocols, 3 consecutive SS (3CSS) and 2 separated SS (2SSS) were used. In the 3CSS group, the first OPU was performed on random days of the oestrous cycle (Day 0) and all follicles larger than 2 mm in diameter were aspirated. On Day 5, follicles larger than 8 mm in diameter were aspirated and a CIDR (InterAg, Hamilton, New Zealand) was inserted. The cows then received 20 armour units of FSH (Kawasaki-Seiyaku, Kawasaki, Japan) in twice-daily decreasing doses by IM injection from Day 7 to 10. Cloprostenol (PGF; 0.75 mg, Fujita-Pharm, Tokyo, Japan) was administered on the morning of Day 9. The second OPU was performed 48 h after PGF administration on Day 11; the CIDR was removed from the cows just before OPU. After the second OPU, donors were treated consecutively with the SS protocol mentioned above for the third and fourth OPU sessions. In the 2SSS group, donors received 2 sets of the SS treatment mentioned above, with an interval of 11 days between the second and the third OPU session. Four OPU sessions were performed every 11 days on all cows. In this study, 8 Japanese Black cows were divided into the 3CSS and 2SSS groups, and the treatment for each group was reversed after a 65-day interval as crossover trials. After OPU, Grade 1 and 2 oocytes were used for IVM and IVF, and putative zygotes were cultured as described by (Imai et al. 2006 J. Reprod. Dev. 52, S19–S29 suppl.). A part of the zygotes were cultured in a micro-well system. Data were analysed by Student’s t-test and chi-square test. There were differences (P < 0.05) in the mean (±SD) number of follicles, collected oocytes, and cultured oocytes in the 3CSS (35.0 ± 8.6 and 24.4 ± 11.2, respectively) and 2SSS (30.8 ± 10.5 and 20.2 ± 9.0, respectively) groups. There were no differences in mean percentage of blastocyst formation and Grade 1 blastocyst rates between the 3CSS (38.5 and 55.8%, respectively) and 2SSS (34.8 and 54.8%, respectively) groups. However, the mean number of blastocysts produced per OPU session was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in the 3CSS group (8.1 ± 6.3) compared with the 2SSS group (5.8 ± 4.4). These results indicate that a series of 3 consecutive SS treatments had greater efficiency in producing OPU-IVF embryos.
This work was supported in part by the Research and Development Program for New Bio-industry Initiatives.