Quality and developmental ability of dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) embryos obtained by IVM/IVF, in vivo matured/IVF or in vivo matured/fertilized oocytes
Khatir, H.; Anouassi, A.; Tibary, A.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 42(3): 263-270
The effect of source of cumulus-oocytes-complexes (COCs), maturation and fertilization conditions on developmental competence of dromedary embryos was examined. Thirty-six adult females were superovulated with equine Chorionic Gonadotropin (eCG) injection (3500 IU, IM) and divided in three groups of 12 females each. Group 1 provided 138 COC's collected from follicles >or= 5 mm 10 days after stimulation prior hCG treatment and matured in vitro for 30 h. Group 2 provided 120 in vivo matured oocytes which were aspirated from their follicles 20 h after hCG (3000 IU, IV) given on day 10 follow eCG injection. Group 3 provided 65 in vivo matured/fertilized oocytes. Females in Group 3 received hCG on day 10 following eCG treatment and then were mated 24 h later. Fertilized oocytes were collected from the oviducts of females 48-h post-mating. Quality of the oocytes was assessed after in vitro maturation (IVM), in vitro fertilization (IVF) and in vitro culture (IVC) of COCs. All cultures were performed in three replicates (n = 3) at 38.5 degrees C, under 5% CO(2) and high humidity (>95%). Only COCs with cumulus and homogenous (dark) cytoplasm were used. Nuclear maturation rate for Groups 1 and 2 was determined by epifluorescence microscopy in a sample of COCs (n = 30) denuded, fixed and stained with Hoechst 33342. To study the viability of obtained embryos, hatched blastocysts from each group were transferred to recipients followed by pregnancy diagnosis using ultrasonography at 15, 60 and 90 days. The percentage of COCs reaching metaphase II (MII) after 30 h of maturation was slightly but not significantly higher for in vivo matured oocytes (28/30; 93%) than those in vitro matured (25/30; 84%). The total rate of cleavage (2 cells to blastocyst stage) was not different for the three groups. However, significantly (p < 0.05) more blastocyst and hatched blastocysts were obtained from in vivo matured and in vivo fertilized oocytes (Group 3; 52% and 73%) than from in vitro fertilized oocytes whether they were matured in vitro (Group 1; 35% and 32%) or in vivo (Group 2; 32% and 45%). Pregnancy rates were not significantly different amongst all groups for the three first months following embryo transfer. All pregnancies were lost after day 90 follow transfer except for in vivo matured and in vivo matured/fertilized groups. Only in vivo matured/in vitro fertilized and in vivo matured/fertilized produced embryos continued normal development until term and resulted in the birth of normal and healthy live calves. Six claves (29%; 6/21) were born from Group 3 and one (8%; 1/13) calf was born from Group 2. This study shows that the IVC system used is able to support camel embryo development. However, developmental competence and viability of dromedary embryos may be directly related to the intrinsic quality (cytoplasmic maturation) of oocytes.