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Theriogenology. 2001 Apr 15;55(7):1447-55.

Compromised development of calves (Bos gaurus) derived from in vitro-generated embryos and transferred interspecifically into domestic cattle (Bos taurus).

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Iowa State University, Ames, USA.


Advanced reproductive technologies, incuding IVF and interspecies embryo transfer, are becoming increasingly important for the preservation of endangered species. Previous attempts at interspecies transfers between Bos gaurus and Bos taurus have yielded compromised offspring. The goal of this investigation was to characterize the effects of interspecies transfer of IVF-derived embryos on subsequent neonatal outcome. To achieve this goal, fresh Bos gaurus IVF-derived embryos were transferred into Holstein (Bos taurus) recipients. Four fetuses were carried to term. Calf weight, temperature, heart rate, and respiration rate were recorded after birth. Blood samples also were obtained for determination of blood glucose, pH, packed cell volume (PCV), total hemoglobin (tHB), PO2, and PCO2. After parturition, milk production and health status of the recipients were recorded. Two calves were alive at birth, and two calves were stillborn. One of the calves that was born alive died within minutes after birth, while the other lived until approximately 26 h of age. Blood samples obtained from the calf that lived for 26 h showed it to be extremely acidotic and hypoglycemic; this calf also had marked difficulty thermoregulating. At necropsy, all calves showed evidence of in utero gasping and hypoxia, suggestive of premature placental separation. None of the recipient cows showed typical signs of impending parturition. After parturition, lactogenesis in all recipient cows was markedly decreased. On gross examination, placentae resulting from the interspecies transfers had fewer cotyledons that were also much larger in size compared to cotyledons from normal gaur placentae. Calves in this study had abnormalities consistent with those noted from previous interspecies transfers and with IVF and nuclear transfer (cloned) calves. Due to the design of this study, it is not possible to differentiate between problems resulting from the IVF process and those resulting from potential interspecies incompatibilities. However, interspecies transfers of in vitro-produced gaur embryos into Bos taurus are strongly discouraged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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