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In the present study, the effects of replacing glucose with pyruvate–lactate and supplementing these in vitro culture (IVC) media with hyaluronic acid (HA) on porcine embryo development and sex ratio were examined. The in vitro-produced (IVP) porcine embryos were cultured in NCSU-23 medium with 0.0, 0.5 or 1.0 mg mL–1 HA, and with either 5.55 mM glucose (IVC-Glu) or pyruvate (0.17 mM)–lactate (2.73 mM) from 0 to 48 h post insemination (h.p.i.) and then with glucose from 48 to 168 h.p.i. (IVC-PL). Those embryos cultured with IVC-PL had significantly higher blastocyst rates (23.7 ± 1.5%) than those cultured with IVC-Glu (14.27 ± 2.75%). At 1.0 mg mL–1, HA tended to skew the sex ratio of blastocysts towards males in those embryos cultured in IVC-PL, and led to a significant decrease in the blastocyst rate compared with embryos cultured in the presence of 0.5 and 0.0 mg mL–1 HA and IVC-Glu (4.28 ± 0.28% vs 11.01 ± 1.42% and 10.14 ± 2.77%, respectively) and IVC-PL (14.37 ± 1.35% vs 20.96 ± 2.85% and 22.99 ± 1.39%, respectively). In contrast, there were no significant differences in the total cell number per blastocyst or in apoptosis rates. In conclusion, pyruvate and lactate were the preferred energy substrates in the early stages of IVP porcine embryos. Moreover, 1.0 mg mL–1 HA significantly decreased the percentage of blastocyst rates in both the IVC-Glu and IVC-PL groups, but only by a preferential loss of female embryos for those cultured in IVC-PL.

Original publication




Journal article


Reproduction, Fertility and Development


CSIRO Publishing

Publication Date





570 - 570