Evidence that Meishan and large-white hybrid preovulatory follicles may differentially affect oocyte in vitro maturation and fertilization

X Xu, L S Faillace, R T Harding, G R Foxcroft, M G Hunter
Animal Reproduction Science 1998 May 29, 51 (4): 307-19
Two experiments were carried out to test the hypothesis that follicles recovered from Meishan animals may provide a more favourable environment for oocyte maturation in vitro than follicles recovered from Large-White hybrid animals. In Experiment 1, all follicles > or = 4 mm were recovered from six Meishan and seven Large-White hybrid gilts in the late follicular phase and healthy oocyte cumulus complexes recovered. Cumulus oocyte complexes were randomly divided into two groups, and each group cultured for 27 or 34 h (62 and 64; 56 and 56 for Meishan and Large-White hybrid, respectively) in defined medium in the presence of either of the two largest follicle shells per animal. Subsequent examination of oocyte nuclear maturation showed that although maturation did not differ significantly between the breeds after 27 h, more (P < 0.01) Meishan oocytes co-cultured with Meishan follicles developed to metaphase II stage than Large-White hybrid oocytes co-cultured with Large-White hybrid follicles after 34 h. The next eight largest follicles per animal were cultured for 34 h to produce conditioned media. In Experiment 2, oocytes recovered from the slaughterhouse were matured for 46 h in the presence of conditioned media from Meishan (612 oocytes) or Large-White hybrid (731 oocytes) follicles, or in fresh medium in the presence of a follicle shell from slaughterhouse ovaries. Oocytes were then inseminated and 12 h later examined for penetration and male pronuclear formation. A higher (P < 0.05) percentage of oocytes cultured in Meishan follicle conditioned medium underwent sperm penetration and male pronuclear formation than oocytes cultured in conditioned media from Large-White hybrid animals. Concentration of oestradiol and progesterone in the conditioned media did not differ between the breeds (P > 0.1). In conclusion, these results suggest that (1) Meishan oocytes have advanced maturational capacity when cultured with Meishan preovulatory follicle shells and (2) differences in follicle maturation in the Meishan compared to the Large-White hybrid pig may result in an improved ability of the follicles, via conditioned media, to support oocyte maturation and fertilization in vitro.

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