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193 Improved post-thaw survival of bovine embryos produced in serum-free In-vitro production system

Nõmm, M., Mark, E., Sarv, O., Kõks, S. and Jaakma, Ü. (2016) 193 Improved post-thaw survival of bovine embryos produced in serum-free In-vitro production system. Reproduction, Fertility and Development, 28 (2). pp. 227-228.

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Over a few decades the bovine in vitro embryo production (IVP) systems have been improving rapidly. Still, the goal to produce the same quality embryos in vitro as in vivo has not yet been reached. The FCS is usually added to media during IVP to provide growth factors and energy sources. Currently, serum-free culture systems are often preferred due to the lower risk of contamination and prevention of the development of large offspring syndrome. The aim of this study was to establish whether complete elimination of FCS from the bovine IVP system has an effect on blastocyst rates, embryo quality, and embryo survival rates after slow freezing. We replaced our conventional in vitro maturation (IVM) medium [tissue culture medium-199, 10% (v/v) FCS, 10 µg mL–1 epidermal growth factor (EGF), 1500 U mL–1 serum gonadotropin and chorionic gonadotropin (PG600), Na-pyruvate 0.5 mM, gentamycin sulfate 50 µg mL–1 and l-glutamine 1 mM] with SOF (SOFaaci) supplemented with 0.4% fatty acid-free BSA fraction V, 10 µg mL–1 EGF, and 1500 U mL–1 PG600. Matured cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC) from both experimental groups (total of 1145 from serum-free IVP and 687 from our conventional IVP system) were used for in vitro fertilisation and culture. Blastocyst rates were similar in the serum-free and our usual IVP protocol, 18 and 22%, respectively. Seventy-seven Grade 1 (according to IETS) Day 7 blastocysts from the serum-free IVP system and 80 Grade 1 Day 7 blastocysts from our conventional IVP system were frozen in 1.5 M ethylene glycol and 0.1 M sucrose containing cryopreservation medium. The post-thaw survival rates after 24 h of culture and evaluated as percentages of re-expanded embryos were 63.6% for the serum-free IVP and 46.3% for the conventional IVP system (P < 0.05, Z Test for 2 population proportions). These results indicate that it is possible to have a completely serum-free bovine IVP system and based on the slow freezing and thawing results the quality of serum-free IVP embryos might be better than of the embryos matured in our conventional maturation media. However, more experiments and increased sample sizes are needed to confirm the results.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Copyright: © 2016 CSIRO
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