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  • Author or Editor: Joanna E. Ellington x
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A superovulatory and surgical protocol was developed for recovery of bovine zygotes. Holstein cows and heifers were given follicle-stimulating hormone and cloprostenol to induce superovulation. Surgical cannulation and lavage of the uterine tube was performed 40 to 48 hours after the start of standing estrus. In general, cows had more corpora hemorrhagica than did heifers, but a higher percentage (P < 0.05) of ova recovered from cows were infertile. Several heifers were subjected to the procedure twice, and embryo recovery rates were equivalent both times.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Development of 1- to 2-cell in vivo fertilized equine embryos cultured with or without uterine tubal epithelial cells (utec) was studied. One- to 2-cell embryos (n = 26) were collected surgically from the uterine tubes of pony mares 1 day after ovulation. Four- to 8-cell embryos (n = 9) were collected 2 days after ovulation. Presumptive zygotes and 2-cell embryos were cultured with (n = 17) or without (n = 9) utec, and all 4- to 8-cell embryos were cocultured with utec as positive controls. Uterine tubal epithelial cells were used as cell suspensions within 2 weeks after initiation of cultures. Embryos were cultured to blastocysts or until the embryo had morphologic degeneration. Six presumptive zygotes failed to cleave in vitro. Development to blastocysts of 1-cell (4 of 11) and 2-cell (2 of 6) embryos cocultured with utec was similar. Coculture of 1- to 2-cell embryos with utec significantly (P = 0.05) improved development to blastocysts, compared with culture in medium alone (35 vs 0%, respectively); however, development to blastocysts of 1- to 2-cell embryos cocultured with utec was less (P < 0.025) than that of 4- to 8-cell embryos cocultured with utec (35 vs 89%, respectively).

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To compare function of cultured cryopreserved stallion spermatozoa in a modified Tyrode’s medium (TM), with or without bovine serum albumin (BSA), or in uterine tube (oviduct) epithelial cell (OEC) coculture in TM, with or without BSA.

Sample Population

Cryopreserved spermatozoa from 6 proven stallions and OEC from bovine reproductive tracts in follicular phase.


Thawed spermatozoa were cultured in TM, with or without BSA, or cocultured with OEC monolayers in TM, with or without BSA. Percentages of capacitated and acrosome-reacted spermatozoa were measured at 5 hours for TM cultures. Spermatozoal survival and motility characteristics were observed over time for all culture methods. Number of spermatozoa attaching to OEC were compared for cocultures.


Use of TM without BSA altered spermatozoal function in cell-free medium culture and OEC coculture. A higher percentage of spermatozoa were acrosome reacted in TM with BSA, although percentages of capacitated spermatozoa did not differ. Spermatozoa survived longer and maintained superior motion in TM culture without BSA and in OEC cocultures. More spermatozoa were able to attach to OEC in TM without BSA.


Incubation of cryopreserved spermatozoa in media with BSA resulted in rapid decrease in percentage of intact, motile spermatozoa and limited their ability to interact with OEC.

Clinical Relevance

Current culture media used for assisted reproduction techniques in horses do not provide functionally capacitated spermatozoa. Removal of BSA from such media improves spermatozoal quality and survival. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60: 363–367)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research