JOURNAL ARTICLE

Effects of ovarian stimulation, with and without human chorionic gonadotrophin, on oocyte meiotic and developmental competence in the marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus)

C G Grupen, R B Gilchrist, P L Nayudu, M F Barry, S J Schulz, L J Ritter, D T Armstrong
Theriogenology 2007 October 1, 68 (6): 861-72
17714774
A reliable ovarian stimulation protocol for marmosets is needed to enhance their use as a model for studying human and non-human primate oocyte biology. In this species, a standard dose of hCG did not effectively induce oocyte maturation in vivo. The objectives of this study were to characterize ovarian response to an FSH priming regimen in marmosets, given without or with a high dose of hCG, and to determine the meiotic and developmental competence of the oocytes isolated. Ovaries were removed from synchronized marmosets treated with FSH alone (50 IU/d for 6 d) or the same FSH treatment combined with a single injection of hCG (500 IU). Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were isolated from large (>1.5mm) and small (0.7-1.5mm) antral follicles. In vivo-matured oocytes were subsequently activated parthenogenetically or fertilized in vitro. Immature oocytes were subjected to in vitro maturation and then activated parthenogenetically. Treatment with FSH and hCG combined increased the number of expanded COCs from large antral follicles compared with FSH alone (23.5 +/- 9.3 versus 6.4 +/- 2.7, mean +/- S.E.M.). Approximately 90% of oocytes surrounded by expanded cumulus cells at the time of isolation were meiotically mature. A blastocyst formation rate of 47% was achieved following fertilization of in vivo-matured oocytes, whereas parthenogenetic activation failed to induce development to the blastocyst stage. The capacity of oocytes to complete meiosis in vitro and cleave was positively correlated with follicle diameter. A dramatic effect of follicle size on spindle formation was observed in oocytes that failed to complete meiosis in vitro. Using the combined FSH and hCG regimen described in this study, large numbers of in vivo matured marmoset oocytes could be reliably collected in a single cycle, making the marmoset a valuable model for studying oocyte maturation in human and non-human primates.

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