Main content area

47 effect of l-carnitine treatment during oocyte maturation on the post-thaw development of porcine embryos vitrified at the pronuclear stage

Grupen, C. G., Somfai, T., Kikuchi, K.
Reproduction, fertility, and development 2016 v.28 no.2 pp. 153-154
analysis of variance, blastocyst, cattle, cytoplasm, droplets, embryogenesis, gilts, hatching, in vitro fertilization, lipid metabolism, metaphase, oocytes, survival rate, t-test, vitrification, zygote
The extreme cryo-sensitivity of porcine oocytes and embryos is attributed to their endemically high content of cytoplasmic lipid droplets. In attempts to improve the cryo-tolerance of porcine embryos, various strategies have been used to reduce the amount of lipid droplets present in the cytoplasm before vitrification. Recently, the cryo-tolerance of bovine oocytes vitrified at the metaphase II stage was improved by supplementing in vitro maturation (IVM) medium with l-carnitine (LC), a stimulator of lipid metabolism (Chakitisakul et al. 2013 Theriogenology 79, 590–598). The objective of this study was to determine the effect of supplementing IVM medium with LC on the post-thaw development of porcine embryos vitrified at the pronuclear stage. Oocytes recovered from the ovaries of prepubertal gilts were matured in modified porcine oocyte medium supplemented with 0 (control) or 12mM LC during the final 22h of IVM. Following IVF, presumptive zygotes were cultured in porcine zygote medium-3. At the pronuclear stage, cohorts of embryos from each group were either vitrified using a solid surface vitrification procedure (Somfai et al. 2009 Biol. Reprod. 80, 42–49) or cultured for 7 d without being vitrified. Vitrified zygotes were subsequently warmed and cultured for 7 d. The rates of cleavage, blastocyst formation, and hatching were recorded, and all blastocysts were stained to determine the total cell numbers. Three replicates were performed. Proportional data were arcsine transformed and subjected to ANOVA, and cell number data were analysed by t-test. The post-thaw survival rates of the embryos that were vitrified did not differ between the groups (control: 95.7%; LC: 97.1%; P>0.05). There were no significant effects of LC treatment or vitrification on the rates of cleavage, blastocyst formation, and hatching (Table 1). Vitrified embryos derived from LC-treated oocytes produced blastocysts with fewer cells than vitrified embryos derived from untreated oocytes (Table 1; P<0.05). In contrast to previous findings in other species, the results indicate that supplementing IVM medium with LC did not enhance the post-thaw development of porcine embryos vitrified at the pronuclear stage. Table 1.Effect of l-carnitine (LC) treatment and vitrification on porcine embryo development C. Grupen was supported by an OECD Fellowship.