Effect of follicle-stimulating hormone on nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of sow oocytes in vitro

E J Schoevers, A Kidson, J H M Verheijden, M M Bevers
Theriogenology 2003, 59 (9): 2017-28
A series of experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of FSH supplementation during IVM on porcine oocyte nuclear maturation, and subsequent fertilization, cleavage and embryo development. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured 40 h without FSH (control), 40 h with FSH (FSH 0-40 h), or 20 h with FSH followed by a 20-h culture period without FSH (FSH 0-20 h). Nuclear stage of oocytes was assessed at intervals from 12 to 40 h of IVM. Furthermore, oocytes were in vitro fertilized, fixed and stained to determine normally fertilized and polyspermic oocytes. Additionally, COCs were matured with FSH, fertilized and zygotes cultured in NCSU-23. The percentage of cleaved embryos and blastocysts were determined and the number of nuclei was counted. The presence of FSH during the first 20 h of IVM retarded germinal vesicle breakdown. After 40 h of culture 84, 67 and 58% MII oocytes were observed in the FSH 0-20 h, FSH 0-40 h and control groups, respectively. After IVF, penetration rates were similar at 27, 26 and 29%, while the proportion of polyspermic oocytes was 7, 19 and 11% of penetrated oocytes for control, FSH 0-40 and FSH 0-20 h groups, respectively. Cleavage and blastocyst rates differed among treatments (21, 29 and 38%, and 7, 15 and 20% for control, FSH 0-40 and FSH 0-20 h groups, respectively). No differences in blastocyst cell number were found among groups. Blastocyst rates, based on number of cleaved embryos, were 51 and 52% for the FSH 0-40 and FSH 0-20 h groups, which differed significantly from the control group (31%). The results indicate that FSH has a stimulatory effect on nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of sow oocytes. Addition of FSH for the first 20 h of culture was most beneficial, based on cleavage and blastocyst development rates.

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