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Theriogenology. 2006 Feb;65(3):573-83. Epub 2005 Jul 19.

The variability of ovum pick-up response and in vitro embryo production from monozygotic twin cows.

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  • 1Department of Large Animals, Federal University of Santa Maria, 97105-900 Santa Maria RS, Brazil.


Oocytes were recovered by ovum pick up (OPU) from nine pairs of monozygotic twin German Simmental cows. The hypothesis was that there is less variability between identical twins versus among non-related individuals in the variation in the recovery of oocytes by OPU and in the efficiency of in vitro embryo production. Estrous cycles were synchronized with two doses of cloprostenol, 11 days apart. Beginning 3-4 days after synchronized estrus, OPU was done twice weekly (every 3 or 4 days; total of 11 sessions). The influence of repeated OPU on estrous cyclicity was established by estrus detection, plasma progesterone concentrations, and ovarian ultrasonography. There were no differences among days of collection for the number and quality of cumulus oocyte-complexes (COCs), and rates of cleavage and blastocyst formation. A total of 1,661 COCs, including 657 (39.6%) good-quality COCs, were recovered. From 1,457 (87.7%) cultured COCs, 827 zygotes cleaved and 314 blastocysts were produced on Day 7. The total number of COCs and the blastocyst rates varied among pairs of monozygotic twins; within pairs, only slight differences were observed. In conclusion, recovery of COCs and production of embryos had substantially less variation within pairs of monozygotic twins than among non-related cattle.

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