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The Effect of Different Flushing Media Used to Aspirate Follicles on the Outcome of a Commercial Ovum Pickup–ICSI Program in Mares

Cuervo-Arango, Juan, Claes, Anthony N., Beitsma, Mabel, Stout, Tom A.E.
Journal of equine veterinary science 2019 v.75 pp. 74-77
benzyl alcohol, blastocyst, heparin, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, mares, oocytes, preservatives, veterinarians
The in vitro production of embryos by ovum pickup (OPU) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is gaining popularity among horse breeders and veterinarians. Various collection media are available for flushing follicles during OPU. The objective of this study was to determine whether the type of flushing media used to aspirate follicles and collect oocytes influences the outcome of a commercial equine OPU-ICSI program. Two commercial embryo flushing media (EFM1 and EFM2) supplemented with heparin were compared with a flushing media designed specifically for the collection of oocytes (oocyte flushing media [OFM]) on the outcome of OPU-ICSI parameters in 234 Warmblood mares. The OPU-ICSI performed in mares using one of the EFM1 resulted in a lower (P < .05) blastocyst rate and blastocysts per OPU-ICSI session (11.9 ± 13.2%, 0.88 ± 1.3) than the OFM (19.2 ± 15.2%, 1.24 ± 1.2). Unlike the EFM2 solution, the heparin used to prepare the EFM1 contained preservatives including benzyl alcohol, a component known to alter the oocyte membrane, which might have been responsible for the lower developmental competence of oocytes collected with EFM1. In conclusion, exposure of oocytes (<1.5 hours) to one of the flushing medium tested in this study affected negatively the outcome of the OPU-ICSI commercial program when compared with flushing media designed for collection of equine oocytes. Care should be taken when choosing the components of the flushing media used to collect oocytes. Further research should be carried out to confirm the potential negative effect of the preservatives used in multidose heparin vials.