Send to

Choose Destination
Reprod Fertil Dev. 2003;15(5):275-84.

Consequences of exposure to serum, with or without vitamin E supplementation, in terms of the fatty acid content and viability of bovine blastocysts produced in vitro.

Author information

Scottish Agricultural College, Animal Biology Division, Craibstone Estate, Bucksburn, Aberdeen, UK.


To determine whether serum supplementation influenced fatty acid content of bovine blastocysts and whether vitamin E addition to culture medium containing serum could improve development in vitro, cleaved eggs were cultured in synthetic oviduct fluid supplemented with bovine serum albumin (BSA, 0.4% w/v, fraction V) (SVBSA), fetal calf serum (FCS, 10% v/v) (SFCS) or FCS (10% v/v) plus 100 micro M vitamin E (SFCS + E). Blastocyst yields were recorded and fatty acid composition was determined by gas chromatography. Day 7 blastocysts were incubated with [2-(14)C] pyruvate for 3 h and then fixed for cell counts. Yields of good quality blastocysts were greatest from cleaved eggs cultured in serum-free conditions (P < 0.01). In the presence of serum, supplementation with vitamin E increased both total and good quality blastocyst yields (P < 0.01). Presence of serum increased fatty acid content (mean +/- SEM) of blastocysts (SVBSA v. SFCS = 57 +/- 2 v. 74 +/- 2 ng embryo(-1); P < 0.001). In contrast, pyruvate metabolism was greater in blastocysts produced without serum (27 +/- 3 v. 21 +/- 3 picomoles embryo(-1) 3h(-1); P < 0.01) but, on a per cell basis, no differences were detected. Addition of vitamin E to the serum-supplemented formulation did not alter either the fatty acid content (73 +/- 2 ng embryo(-1)) or pyruvate metabolism index (19 +/- 1 pmol embryo(-1) 3h(-1)) of SFCS + E blastocysts. Thus, despite lipid accumulation, supplementary vitamin E improved blastocyst yields in embryos exposed to serum.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for CSIRO
Loading ...
Support Center