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Theriogenology. 2006 Jun;65(9):1716-26. Epub 2005 Nov 4.

Performance of ten inbred mouse strains following assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs).


Superovulation, in vitro fertilization, embryo cryopreservation, and embryo transfer are assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) widely used in laboratory mice. Inbred strains of mice have inherent genetic differences that cause them to respond differently to these technologies. Knowing how common inbred strains will perform when used for ARTs will ensure the most efficient use of mice, time, and resources. In this study, we characterized the ability of 10 inbred strains: 129S1/SvImJ, A/J, BALB/cJ, BALB/cByJ, C3H/HeJ, C57BL/6J, DBA/2J, FVB/NJ, NOD/LtJ, and SJL/J to superovulate, fertilize in vitro, and produce live pups subsequent to embryo transfer. Three-week-old female mice were superovulated using eCG (5.0 IU) and hCG (5.0 IU). The resulting oocytes were fertilized in vitro in human tubal fluid medium with spermatozoa of the same strain. The following day, two-cell embryos were either transferred into pseudopregnant recipient females or cryopreserved. The cryopreserved embryos were later thawed and transferred into pseudopregnant recipient females. Differences in response to superovulation, fertilization, and number of live born produced after embryo transfer were observed between strains, substantiating the influence of genetic variability on ARTs. The response to the superovulation treatment varied among strains and ranged from 5+/-1(A/J) to 40+/-3 (129S1/SvImJ) normal oocytes per female. The average proportion of oocytes that fertilized ranged among strains from 24% (129S1/SvImJ) to 93% (DBA/2J and A/J). The average proportion of two-cell embryos that were transferred into recipient females and subsequently developed into live pups varied from 5% (A/J) to 53% (C57BL/6J) for fresh embryos and from 18% (BALB/cByJ) to 45% (129S1/SvImJ) for thawed embryos.

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