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Evaluation of foal production following intracytoplasmic sperm injection and blastocyst culture of oocytes from ovaries collected immediately before euthanasia or after death of mares under field conditions

Katrin HinrichsDepartment of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Young-Ho ChoiDepartment of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Jody D. NorrisDepartment of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Linda B. LoveDepartment of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Sylvia J. Bedford-GuausDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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David L. HartmanHartman Equine Reproduction Center, 15225 US Hwy 377, Whitesboro, TX 76273.

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Isabel C. VelezDepartment of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the efficiency of foal production following intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and blastocyst culture of oocytes from mares that died or were euthanized under field conditions.

Design—Prospective case series.

Animals—16 mares (age, 3 to 19 years) that died or were euthanized for various causes.

Procedures—Ovaries were collected immediately before euthanasia (n = 10) or after death (6). Ovaries were transported to the laboratory for oocyte recovery (15 mares), or oocytes were recovered at a remote location and shipped to the laboratory (1). Oocytes underwent ICSI, and presumptive zygotes were cultured for 7 to 10 days. Blastocysts were shipped to embryo transfer facilities for transcervical transfer to recipient mares.

Results—Ovaries were processed 30 minutes to 12 hours (mean ± SD, 4.6 ± 3.3 hours) after mares' deaths. A mean of 14.1 ± 8.6 oocytes/mare were cultured, and 110 of 225 (49%) matured. Twenty-one blastocysts developed after ICSI and were transferred to recipient mares. Thirteen pregnancies were established; 10 healthy foals were produced from 6 donor mares. The number of blastocysts produced per mare and number of live foals produced per mare were significantly correlated with the number of oocytes recovered.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Foals were produced from mares after death or euthanasia under field conditions. Proportions of foals born overall (10 foals/16 mares) and mares from which ≥ 1 foal was produced (6/16) were greater than those reported following recovery and oviductal transfer of oocytes to inseminated recipients after death of donor mares under field conditions.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the efficiency of foal production following intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and blastocyst culture of oocytes from mares that died or were euthanized under field conditions.

Design—Prospective case series.

Animals—16 mares (age, 3 to 19 years) that died or were euthanized for various causes.

Procedures—Ovaries were collected immediately before euthanasia (n = 10) or after death (6). Ovaries were transported to the laboratory for oocyte recovery (15 mares), or oocytes were recovered at a remote location and shipped to the laboratory (1). Oocytes underwent ICSI, and presumptive zygotes were cultured for 7 to 10 days. Blastocysts were shipped to embryo transfer facilities for transcervical transfer to recipient mares.

Results—Ovaries were processed 30 minutes to 12 hours (mean ± SD, 4.6 ± 3.3 hours) after mares' deaths. A mean of 14.1 ± 8.6 oocytes/mare were cultured, and 110 of 225 (49%) matured. Twenty-one blastocysts developed after ICSI and were transferred to recipient mares. Thirteen pregnancies were established; 10 healthy foals were produced from 6 donor mares. The number of blastocysts produced per mare and number of live foals produced per mare were significantly correlated with the number of oocytes recovered.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Foals were produced from mares after death or euthanasia under field conditions. Proportions of foals born overall (10 foals/16 mares) and mares from which ≥ 1 foal was produced (6/16) were greater than those reported following recovery and oviductal transfer of oocytes to inseminated recipients after death of donor mares under field conditions.

Contributor Notes

Supported by the Link Equine Research Endowment Fund, Texas A&M University.

Presented in part at the 10th International Symposium on Equine Reproduction, Lexington, Ky, July 2010.

The authors thank Dr. Brian Carroll, Dr. Phil Matthews, and Dr. Mark Nevill for performing embryo transfers.

Address correspondence to Dr. Hinrichs (khinrichs@cvm.tamu.edu).