Developmental potential of bovine oocytes cultured in different maturation and culture conditions

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Animal Reproduction Science


Diverse groups of chemicals in culture media are needed for successful bovine oocyte maturation and embryo development during which dramatic cytoplasmic and nuclear reprogramming events take place. In vitro embryo production (IVP) procedures frequently include supplements such as serum and/or co-culture with various types of somatic cells. However, the presence of undefined serum in culture media introduces a variation from batch to batch, increases viral or prion contamination risk, and leads to problems during fetal development. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possibility of using chemically defined-synthetic serum substitute (SSS) in place of fetal calf serum (FCS) during maturation and long-term culture to stimulate in vitro maturation (IVM), fertilization (IVF) and subsequent embryo development. In Experiment I, the effect of the protein source on in vitro maturation was tested by maturing oocytes in culture media supplemented with 10% FCS (Control Group), 10% SSS (Group I) and 10% SSS + 10 ng/ml epidermal growth factor (EGF) (Group II). In Experiment II, effects of SSS on both oocyte maturation and embryo development during in vitro culture (IVC) were tested by maturing oocytes in media supplemented with 10% FCS (FCS Group) or 10% SSS + 10 ng/ml EGF (SSS Group), followed by IVF and IVC in SOF media supplemented with 10% FCS and 10% SSS on day 4 for FCS and SSS Groups, respectively. Even though rates for cleavage and development to blastocyst stage were not different, blastocyst cell numbers were higher in Group II containing SSS and EGF. The SSS supplementation group had higher apoptotic nuclei as compared to the FCS Group in Experiment II. Transcripts for heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), interferon tau (IF-τ), DNA methyltransferase 3a (Dnmt3a), desmosomal glycoprotein desmocollin III (DcIII) and insulin-like growth factor II receptor (Igf-2r) were altered in different culture conditions in Experiment I. However, only glucose transporter-1 (Glut-1) mRNA was different in the SSS and FCS Groups in the second experiment. In summary, SSS and EGF in maturation medium and replacement of FCS with SSS alone in culture medium on day 4 of IVC support oocyte maturation and embryo development in vitro. However, significance of culture condition induced changes on the genome-wide abundance of messenger ribonucleic acid and the significance of the apoptotic nuclei during fetal development still remain to be determined. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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