The objective of this study was to compare the embryo production and quality carried out entirely in vitro or partly in vitro combined with short- vs long-term in vivo culture using the homologous cattle oviduct. The IVM oocytes were in vitro fertilized and cultured for 7 and 8 days (IVP-Group), or after IVF and 2-3 days of IVC, 4-8 cell stage embryos were endoscopically transferred into oviducts of synchronized heifers (In Vivo-Group) or IVM oocytes were co-incubated with spermatozoa for 3-4 h and transferred into the oviducts of synchronized heifers (GIFT-Group). Embryos of the In Vivo-Group and the GIFT-Group were recovered on day 7 from the oviducts and uterine horns. Embryos of all groups were either cryopreserved at day 7 (day 7 blastocysts) or cultured in vitro in CR1aa-medium supplemented with 5% ECS for further 24 h and cryopreserved (day 8 blastocysts). The total blastocyst yield found in the in vivo cultured groups was similar to the results of the IVP-Group. But the appearance of blastocysts was dependent on the duration of in vivo culture. The more time the embryos spent in the in vivo environment, the more blastocysts appeared at day 8. The quality of produced blastocysts assessed by cryo-survival was also correlated to the culture conditions; the in vivo cultured embryos showed higher cryo-tolerance. However, the duration of in vivo culture crucially influenced the cryo-tolerance of produced blastocysts. It is concluded that tubal access is a promising tool to provide a further basis for studying embryo sensitivity to environmental changes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology