In vitro and in vivo comparison of Ham's F-10, Emcare holding solution and ViGro holding plus for the cooled storage of equine embryos

Theriogenology. 2003 Apr 1;59(7):1615-25. doi: 10.1016/s0093-691x(02)01210-4.


Equine embryos have been successfully transferred after 24h cooled storage in Ham's F-10. The aim of this study was to compare the viability of equine embryos in vitro and in vivo after 6 and 24h cooled storage using three media and to examine the relationship between embryo size and viability after 24h cooled storage. In Experiment 1, the viability of embryos was evaluated using DAPI-staining after 0, 6 or 24h in Ham's F-10, 24h in Emcare embryo holding solution (EHS) or 24h in ViGro holding plus (VHP) (n=10/group). The mean number of dead cells was similar for embryos stored in Ham's F-10, EHS and VHP for 24h. Larger Day 7 embryos appear to withstand 24h cold storage better than small Day 7 embryos. The embryo quality for 24h cold storage was negatively correlated with size. In Experiment 2, 40 embryos were stored (n=20/group) either in Ham's F-10 or in EHS then transferred as pairs in recipient mares. Fifteen of the 20 recipient mares (75%) were pregnant. Out of 17 surviving embryos, 9 embryos (53%) were stored in Ham's F-10 and 8 (47%) in EHS. These results suggest that EHS and VHP offer a good alternative to Ham's F-10 for 24h cooled storage of equine embryos and that larger embryos may have a better viability after 24h of cooled storage than smaller embryos.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Culture Media
  • Culture Techniques / veterinary
  • Embryo Transfer / veterinary*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Female
  • Horses / embryology*
  • Horses / physiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Preservation / methods
  • Tissue Preservation / veterinary*


  • Culture Media