Author(s): Machty Z, Day BN, Prather RS
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Abstract In vitro development of early porcine embryos under different culture conditions was evaluated and compared to in vivo development. First, one- and two-cell embryos were collected and cultured individually in 20- microl drops under 5\% CO2 in air for 4 days. Embryos from one oviduct were cultured in NCSU-23, and those from the contralateral oviduct were cultured in KSOM/AA. The embryos developed in NCSU-23 had a higher mean number of inner cell mass (ICM) nuclei compared to those developed in KSOM/AA (p = 0.025). They also had higher trophectoderm (TE) and total nuclear number (p = 0.001), while there was no difference in the average ratio of ICM to TE nuclei (p = 0.731). When the effect of different gas atmospheres was tested, the numbers of TE and total nuclei were higher (p < 0.01 and p < 0.025, respectively) in embryos cultured in an atmosphere with 5\% CO2 in air than in those developed under 5\% CO2:5\% O2:90\% N2. Next the development of embryos cultured in NCSU-23 was compared to that of embryos incubated in vivo. By the end of the 4-day incubation, the cultured embryos had higher nuclear numbers and a higher ratio of ICM to TE nuclei than those developed in vivo (p < 0.001). Finally, the embryos that developed in NCSU-23 or in vivo were transferred into recipients. By Day 40 of pregnancy, 37.1 +/- 15.3\% of the in vitro- and 53.8 +/- 15.3\% of the in vivo-incubated embryos formed conceptuses. These results indicate that despite the lower nuclear numbers caused by in vitro conditions, the cultured embryos were developmentally competent.
This article was published in Biol Reprod
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research