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Growth potential of bovine embryos presenting abnormal cleavage observed through time lapse cinematography

Magata, F., Ideta, A., Okubo, H., Matsuda, F., Urakawa, M., Oono, Y.
Theriogenology 2019 v.133 pp. 119-124
abnormal development, aneuploidy, blastocyst, cattle, culture dishes, hatching, image analysis, in vitro fertilization, monitoring, technology, viability
Time-lapse monitoring (TLM) has emerged as a novel technology for the continuous and noninvasive evaluation of embryos. TLM has revealed the prevalence of specific dysmorphisms such as abnormal development during the early-cleavage stage of embryos. However, little information is available on the prevalence and consequences of abnormal cleavage in bovine embryos. Hence, this study aimed to investigate growth potential of bovine embryos presenting abnormal cleavage, such as reverse cleavage (RC), direct cleavage (DC), and irregular and unsmooth ruffling of the oolema membrane (ruffling). Bovine embryos derived through in vitro fertilization (IVF) were cultured in the microwell culture dishes, and the kinetics of in vitro development were observed through TLM at 20-min intervals for 10 d. Approximately 36% of embryos that developed into a blastocyst presented abnormal cleavage. Morphokinetic evaluations revealed that RC, DC, and ruffling embryos showed slower development compared to embryos with normal cleavage (P < 0.01). Embryos with RC and DC, but not ruffling, revealed impaired hatchability (P < 0.05) with increased collapses of the blastocyst cavity until hatching (P < 0.0001). Moreover, the RC and DC embryos presented increased chromosomal aneuploidy (P < 0.05). These results suggest a compromised viability of embryos with RC and DC. This is the first report that clarified the effect of abnormal cleavage on the morphokinetics and growth potential of bovine IVF embryos. Results indicate that the kinetic evaluation of bovine embryos using the time-lapse imaging system will be beneficial for selecting embryos with a high viability.