Cattle oocytes were maintained at germinal vesicles (GV) stage for 24 hr using a combination of two specific and potent inhibitors of M-phase promoting factor (MPF) kinase activity, butyrolactone I (BL-I) and roscovitine (ROS). The media used for inhibition were (a) TCM-199 only and (b) TCM-199 supplemented with serum, hormones and growth factors. The effective doses of inhibitors were 6.25 microM BL-I and 12.5 microM ROS in medium (a) and 50 microM BL-I and 12.5 microM ROS in medium (b). After inhibition, about 90% of the oocytes resumed meiosis and reached the metaphase II (MII) stage during 24 hr of maturation. Following fertilisation the percentage of cleavage (D +2), compacted morula (D +6), blastocysts on D +7 and D +8 and the survival to freezing and thawing of grade 1 embryos frozen on D +7 were not different between the experimental treated groups and the control. In order to evaluate early foetal development, two groups of five grade 1 D +7 blastocysts derived from treated oocytes and two groups of five control embryos were transferred nonsurgically in four synchronised recipient heifers. On D +27, the recipients were slaughtered and the foetuses were recovered. In both groups, six foetuses developed out of the 10 embryos transferred. In conclusion, several supplements can be added to the prematuration medium of bovine oocytes without reducing the quality of inhibition but also without improving their subsequent developmental competence versus treated oocytes in TCM-199 only and versus untreated control. Furthermore, the prematuration step used in this study does not interfere with normal foetal development during the first stages of organogenesis.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.