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In vitro fertilization of in vitro-matured equine oocytes: Effect of maturation medium, duration of maturation, and sperm calcium ionophore treatment, and comparison with rates of fertilization in vivo after oviductal transfer

Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4466, USA.
Biology of Reproduction (Impact Factor: 3.45). 07/2002; 67(1):256-62. DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod67.1.256
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of oocyte and sperm treatments on rates of in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the horse and to determine the capacity of in vitro-matured horse oocytes to be fertilized in vivo. There was no effect of duration of oocyte maturation (24 vs. 42 h) or calcium ionophore concentration during sperm capacitation (3 microM vs. 7.14 microM) on in vitro fertilization rates. Oocytes matured in 100% follicular fluid had significantly higher fertilization (13% to 24%) than did oocytes matured in maturation medium or in 20% follicular fluid (0% to 12%; P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in fertilization rate among 3 sperm treatments utilizing 7.14 microM calcium ionophore (12% to 21%). Of in vitro-matured oocytes recovered 40-44 h after transfer to the oviducts of inseminated mares, 77% showed normal fertilization (2 pronuclei to normal cleavage). Cleavage to 2 or more cells was seen in 22% of oocytes matured in follicular fluid and 63% of oocytes matured in maturation medium; this difference was significant (P < 0.05). We conclude that in vitro-matured horse oocytes are capable of being fertilized at high rates in the appropriate environment and that in vitro maturation of oocytes in follicular fluid increases fertilization rate in vitro but reduces embryo development after fertilization in vivo. Further work is needed to determine the optimum environment for sperm capacitation and IVF in the horse.

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