Time course of pronuclear formation and fertilisation after insemination in vitro and intracytoplasmic sperm injection of in vitro matured sheep oocytes
The time course of sperm decondensation, oocyte activation, pronuclear formation and the possible causes of abnormalities after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) were examined. Frozen-thawed and pooled fresh semen from three different rams were washed and capacitated for ICSI or IVF. In vitro matured oocytes were cultured after sperm injection for 0.5, 0.75, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 18, 21 and 23 h, and oocytes were cultured after in vitro insemination for the same times other than 18 and 23 h. All oocytes were cultured in bicarbonate-buffered synthetic oviduct fluid medium (BSOF) supplemented with 2% oestrous sheep serum. A total of 746 metaphase II oocytes were injected with a single spermatozoon and 986 oocytes were inseminated for IVF. The earliest oocyte activation after ICSI was observed at 0.5 h, when 14.8% of oocytes were in anaphase II; this was earlier than after IVF, when only 6.4% of the oocytes exhibited anaphase II 1 h after insemination. Decondensing spermatozoa were first observed 1 h after ICSI and 3 h after insemination for IVF. The earliest female and male pronuclei after ICSI were observed at 2 and 3 h respectively, while the female and male pronuclei after IVF were observed at 4 h after insemination. The overall fertilisation rate was lower after ICSI (28.6%) than IVF (70.4%) but the percentage of abnormal fertilisation was not different between ICSI (8.7%) and IVF (15.2%). It was concluded that the fertilisation events were more advanced for ICSI than IVF, using injection and insemination time as reference points. The formation of male and female pronuclei were asynchronous after ICSI, in contrast to IVF when they appeared simultaneously at 4 h. Abnormalities found in fertilisation after ICSI may therefore be induced by the injection technique.(Received March 5 1998)
(Accepted April 14 1998)
Key Words: ICSI; IVF; Oocyte activation; Sheep; Sperm decondensation.
c1 Department of Animal Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. Telephone: +02 93515823. Fax: +02 93513957. e-mail: email@example.com.