Title

Effect of the Time Interval between Fusion and Activation on Nuclear State and Development in Vitro and in Vivo of Bovine Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Embryos

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Reproduction

Volume

131

Issue

1

Publisher

Society for Reproduction and Fertility

Publication Date

2006

First Page

45

Last Page

51

DOI

10.1530/rep.1.00714

Abstract

This study indicated that prolonged exposure of donor cell nuclei to oocyte cytoplasm before activation results in abnormal chromatin morphology, and reduced development to compacted morula/blastocyst stage in vitro. However, after transfer of embryos to recipients, there was no difference in pregnancy rates throughout gestation. Chromatin morphology was evaluated for embryos held 2, 3, 4 and 5 h between fusion and activation. In embryos held 2 h, 15/17 (88.2%) embryos contained condensed chromosomes, while only 12/24 (50.0%) embryos held 3 h exhibited this characteristic. The proportion of embryos with elongated or fragmented chromosomes tended to increase with increased hold time. While 15/19 (78.9%) of embryos held 2 h developed a single pronucleus 6 h after activation, only 8/22 (36.4%) had one pronucleus after a 4-h hold. Embryos held 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0 h cleaved at rates of 207/281 (73.7%), 142/166 (85.5%), 655/912 (71.8%), 212/368 (57.6%), 406/667 (60.9%), 362/644 (56.2%) and 120/228 (52.6%) respectively. Further development to compacted morula/blastocyst stage occurred at rates of 78/281 (27.8%), 42/166 (25.3%), 264/912 (28.9%), 79/368 (21.5%), 99/667 (14.8%), 94/644 (14.6%) and 27/228 (11.8%) respectively. Embryos held less than 2.5 h between fusion and activation established pregnancies in 18/66 (27.3%) of recipients, while embryos held over 2.5 h established pregnancies at a rate of 17/57 (29.8%). This study indicates that holding bovine nuclear transfer embryos less than 2.5 h between fusion and activation results in improved nuclear morphology and increased development to compacted morula/blastocyst stage, and results in pregnancy rates equivalent to embryos held over 2.5 h.