Development to blastocysts of one- to two-cell equine embryos after coculture with uterine tubal epithelial cells

Barry A. Ball From the Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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Steven P. Brinsko From the Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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Philip G. A. Thomas From the Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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Paula G. Miller From the Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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Joanna E. Ellington From the Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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Summary

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).

Summary

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).

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