Effects of follicular fluid supplementation of in-vitro maturation medium on the fertilization and development of equine oocytes after in-vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection
Dell'Aquila, M.E.; Cho, Y.S.; Minoia, P.; Traina, V.; Lacalandra, G.M.; Maritato, F.
Human Reproduction 12(12): 2766-2772
The aim of this study was to compare the effect of the addition of follicular fluid (FF) collected from preovulatory follicles with that of oestrous mare serum (EMS) (acting as the control) to TCM-199 medium on the in-vitro maturation, fertilization and development of equine cumulus-enclosed oocytes. Oocytes (<30 mm in diameter) were obtained from the ovaries of slaughtered mares. After in-vitro maturation in the presence of the two supplements, their fertilization, cleavage and developmental potential were compared after conventional in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) using frozen-thawed spermatozoa. Follicular fluid did not increase the maturation of oocytes to metaphase II stage compared to control. After IVF, there was no difference in fertilization rates between FF-supplemented oocytes and controls (7/87, 8.4% of oocytes showing two pronuclei with FF versus 7/116, 6% with EMS; not significant). However, after ICSI, FF-supplemented oocytes showed significantly increased normal fertilization (32/85, 37.6% of two-pronuclear oocytes) and developmental potential (15/31, 48% cleavage) compared to the control oocytes (7/47, 14.9%, P < 0.01; and 2/48, 4%, P < 0.01, respectively). Overall, ICSI resulted in increased fertilization rates compared to IVF, regardless of the presence or absence of FF (39/132, 29.5% with ICSI versus 14/203, 6.9%). These results suggest that follicular fluid supplementation may improve the maturity of equine cumulus-enclosed oocytes sufficiently for the successful use of ICSI, but not sufficiently for normal sperm-egg interaction occurring during IVF.