Influence of co-culture with denuded oocytes during in vitro maturation on fertilization and developmental competence of cumulus-enclosed porcine oocytes in a defined system.
Appeltant R., Somfai T., Kikuchi K., Maes D., Van Soom A.
Co-culture of cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) with denuded oocytes (DOs) during in vitro maturation (IVM) was reported to improve the developmental competence of oocytes via oocyte-secreted factors in cattle. The aim of the present study was to investigate if addition of DOs during IVM can improve in vitro fertilization (IVF) and in vitro culture (IVC) results for oocytes in a defined in vitro production system in pigs. The maturation medium was porcine oocyte medium supplemented with gonadotropins, dbcAMP and β-mercaptoethanol. Cumulus-oocyte complexes were matured without DOs or with DOs in different ratios (9 COC, 9 COC+16 DO and 9 COC+36 DO). Consequently; oocytes were subjected to IVF as intact COCs or after denudation to examine if DO addition during IVM would affect cumulus or oocyte properties. After fertilization, penetration and normal fertilization rates of zygotes were not different between all tested groups irrespective of denudation before IVF. When zygotes were cultured for 6 days, no difference could be observed between all treatment groups in cleavage rate, blastocyst rate and cell number per blastocyst. In conclusion, irrespective of the ratio, co-culture with DOs during IVM did not improve fertilization parameters and embryo development of cumulus-enclosed porcine oocytes in a defined system.