Leoni, Giovanni Giuseppe and Succu, Sara and Berlinguer, Fiammetta and Rosati, Irma and Bebbere, Daniela and Bogliolo, Luisa and Ledda, Sergio and Naitana, Salvatore (2006) Delay on the in vitro kinetic development of prepubertal ovine embryos. Animal Reproduction Science, Vol. 92 (3-4), p. 373-383. ISSN 0378-4320. Article.
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In the present study we characterize the developmental potential of prepubertal and adult ovine oocytes, analyzing the developmental speed to two-cell and blastocyst stages and its relationship with hatching from the zona pellucida, development after vitrification and the number and allocation of inner mass and trophoblastic cells. Prepubertal and adult ovine oocytes were matured and fertilized in vitro and first cleavage rates at 22, 26 and 32 h were recorded. Cleaved oocytes were cultured and blastocyst production was assessed at 6–9 days post-fertilization (dpf). Blastocysts from the two sources obtained on different days were divided into two groups: the first was vitrified, warmed and cultured in vitro to evaluate re-expansion of the blastocoelic cavity; blastocysts of the second were cultured separately to allow for hatching and count of trophoblastic and inner mass cells of hatched blastocysts by differential staining. We observed a significantly lower rate (P < 0.01) of cleaved prepubertal oocytes at 22 and 26 h after fertilization while it was higher (P < 0.01) at 32 h than in the adult ones. Adult blastocyst production was significantly lower (P < 0.01) in prepubertal than in adult groups and began on the seventh dpf, later (P < 0.01) than in the adult group, where they appeared on the sixth dpf. Prepubertal blastocysts hatched at a lower rate than the adult ones (P < 0.01) and in both experimental groups faster blastocysts showed a higher (P < 0.01) hatching rate. Similarly, prepubertal derived blastocysts showed lower viability after vitrification (P < 0.01) compared to the adult counterparts, and in particular slower embryos had reduced viability after vitrification compared to the fastest (P < 0.01). Cell number was not different between blastocysts of both groups obtained at 6 and 7 dpf, which were higher (P < 0.01) than those obtained at 8 and 9 dpf. The ICM/trophoblast cell ratio was similar in 6- and 7-day obtained blastocyst and increased (P < 0.01) in those obtained 1 or 2 days later. These findings show that differences in kinetic development between prepubertal and adult derived embryos reflect differences in developmental capacity of the oocytes from which they derive and could be indicative of embryo quality.
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