ABSTRACT: We investigated the effect of the leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) alone or in association with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) on the in vitro growth and antrum formation of sheep preantral follicles. To evaluate oocyte quality, parthenogenetic activation of the oocytes recovered from in vitro grown preantral follicles was performed. Preantral follicles >110 μm in diameter were isolated and cultured for 18 days in basic medium either alone (control) or supplemented with LIF (10 or 50 ng/mL) in the absence or presence of FSH. Every 6 days the follicular survival, growth, and antrum formation were evaluated. When compared to control (P < .05), antrum formation was increased in follicles cultured in the presence of LIF10 and FSH. At the end of the culture, the oocytes underwent in vitro maturation (IVM); their viability and chromatin configuration were assessed. Although IVM was not affect by the treatments (P > .05), the numerically highest maturation rates (29.63%) were obtained when follicles were cultured in 50 ng/mL LIF (LIF50). Therefore, their oocytes were submitted to parthenogenetic activation; from which 58.3% of the mature oocytes resulted in 8-cell stage parthenotes. In conclusion, although LIF10 + FSH increases antrum formation when compared to a nonsupplemented medium (minimum essential medium), oocytes from sheep preantral follicles are capable of growing and maturing in vitro independent of LIF addition to the medium, which resulted in the formation of 8-cell parthenotes.
Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) 05/2012; 19(11):1219-25. · 2.31 Impact Factor