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, 109 (1), 87-93

Effects of Supplementation With Fetal Calf Serum on Development of Bovine Embryos in Synthetic Oviduct Fluid Medium

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Effects of Supplementation With Fetal Calf Serum on Development of Bovine Embryos in Synthetic Oviduct Fluid Medium

A Van Langendonckt et al. J Reprod Fertil.

Abstract

The effects of fetal calf serum (FCS) or serum fractions on the development of bovine embryos was investigated. Bovine zygotes were produced in vitro and were cultured in a semi-defined culture medium (mSOF). In the first experiment, blastocysts produced in mSOF supplemented with 10% whole heat-treated FCS or desalted FCS appeared about 1 day earlier, their proportion was significantly (P < 0.05) higher (whole: 30%, desalted: 29%) and they had significantly (P < 0.05) more cells at day 8 (119 cells, 127 cells) than did blastocysts produced in mSOF without any supplement (16%, 98 cells) or mSOF supplemented with a glucose concentration equivalent to that of serum (15%, 88 cells). Our results indicate that high molecular mass components (> 5 kDa) of serum are responsible for the effects of FCS on the kinetics of development, on the percentage of blastocysts obtained and the total number of cells in blastocysts. A further analysis using time-lapse microcinematography showed that the acceleration of development induced by serum occurred between the 9-16-cell and morula stages. Finally, in an experiment designed to analyse by microcinematography the effect of the addition of FCS using semen from a different bull to inseminate the oocytes, a different batch of serum and adding mSOF at a different time (42 h after insemination), acceleration was similarly observed between these two stages. Our microcinematographic studies demonstrate that the addition of FCS at two developmental stages (three-four-cell and five-eight-cell) before the 8-16-cell stage accelerates development just after this critical blocking stage.

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