Effect of incubation temperature on in vitro maturation of porcine oocytes: nuclear maturation, fertilisation and developmental competence
The present study examined the effect of low culture temperature during in vitro maturation (IVM) of pig oocytes on their nuclear maturation, fertilisation and subsequent embryo development. In experiment 1, oocytes were cultured at 35 or 39 °C for 44 h in modified tissue culture medium 199 supplemented with 10 ng/ml epidermal growth factor, 0.57 mM cysteine, 75 μg/ml potassium penicillin G, 50 μg/ml streptomycin sulphate, 0.5 μg/ml LH and 0.5 μg/ml FSH to examine the nuclear maturation status. In experiment 2, oocytes were cultured at 35 °C for 44 or 68 h and nuclear maturation was examined. In experiment 3, oocytes matured for 44 or 68 h at 39 °C and for 68 h at 35 °C were co-incubated with frozen-thawed spermatozoa for 5-6 h. Putative embryos were transferred into North Carolina State University (NCSU) 23 medium containing 0.4% bovine serum albumin. At 12 h after insemination, some oocytes were fixed to examine the fertilisation rate and the remaining embryos were examined at 48 and 144 h for cleavage and blastocyst formation rate, respectively. Compared with 39 °C, culture of oocytes at 35 °C for 44 h significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the metaphase II (M II) rate (79% vs 12%). However, extension of culture time to 68 h at 35 °C significantly increased (p < 0.05) the M II rate (7% vs 58%). In experiment 3, compared with other groups, fewer (p < 0.05) oocytes reached M II when cultured at 35 °C for 68 h (69-81% vs 49%). Extension of culture duration to 68 h at 39 °C stimulated spontaneous activation (28%) of oocytes. No difference in cleavage rates was observed among different groups. Compared with oocytes matured for 44 h at 39 °C (31%), the proportion of blastocysts obtained was low (p < 0.05) for oocytes matured at 35 °C (13%) or 39 °C (3%) for 68 h. The results indicate that lower culture temperature can delay nuclear maturation of pig oocytes. However, extension of culture time can stimulate nuclear maturation and these oocytes are capable of fertilisation and development to the blastocyst stage at moderate rates.(Received April 12 01)
(Accepted May 14 01)
Key Words: Culture temperature; Embryo development; In vitro maturation; Pig oocytes.
c1 All correspondence to: R.S. Prather, 162 Animal Sciences Research Center, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211, USA. Tel: +1 (573) 882 6414. Fax: +1 (573) 884 7827. e-mail: pratherr@Missouri.edu