In vitro fertilization and development of cumulus oocytes complexes collected by ultrasound-guided follicle aspiration in superstimulated llamas

M A Berland, A von Baer, J Ruiz, V H Parraguez, P Morales, G P Adams, M H Ratto
Theriogenology 2011, 75 (8): 1482-8
The objective was to evaluate the developmental competence of cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC) collected by follicular aspiration in llamas treated with FSH or eCG. Llamas were assigned randomly to two groups (n = 16 per group) and treated, at the time of ovarian follicular wave emergence, with either: 1) 25 mg of FSH im, twice daily for 4 d; or 2) 1000 IU of eCG as a single i.m. dose. The start of gonadotropin treatment was considered Day 0. Both groups were given 5 mg of Armour Standard LH im on Day 6, and COC were collected by follicle aspiration on Day 7. Expanded COC collected from FSH- (n = 157) and eCG-treated llamas (n = 151) were fertilized in vitro using epididymal sperm, and presumptive zygotes were in vitro cultured in SOF medium for 8 d. The FSH and eCG treatment groups did not differ with respect to: the number of follicles ≥7 mm (16.0 ± 2.7 vs 14.0 ± 1.9, respectively; P = 0.5); the number of COC collected (11.5 ± 1.9 vs 9.7 ± 1.2; P = 0.4); the number of expanded COC (9.8 ± 1.4 vs 9.4 ± 1.2; P = 0.8); or the percentage of presumptive zygotes which developed into 2 to 8 cell stage embryos (65.3 vs 63.1), morulas (46.2 vs 42.5), or blastocysts (23.1 vs 20.5; P > 0.05). In conclusion, FSH and eCG treatments were equally effective for recovery of a high number of expanded COC which were used directly for in vitro fertilization. Furthermore, rate of embryo development was not significantly affected by the gonadotropin treatment used.

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