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Theriogenology. 2006 Apr 15;65(7):1279-91. Epub 2005 Sep 19.

In vitro and in vivo viability of vitrified and non-vitrified embryos derived from eCG and FSH treatment in rabbit does.

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  • 1Laboratorio de Biotecnología de la Reproducción, Departamento de Ciencia Animal, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Camino de Vera 14, 46071 Valencia, Spain.


This study aimed to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo viability of vitrified and non-vitrified embryos derived from eCG and FSH treatments in rabbit does. Ninety-six nulliparous does were randomly subjected to consecutive superovulation treatments with eCG (20 IU/kg body weight intramuscularly (i.m.), eCG group), FSH (3 x 0.6 mg/doe at 24 h intervals i.m., FSH group), or without superovulation treatment (control group). Does were artificially inseminated 3 days later and ovulation was induced immediately by hCG (75 IU/doe intravenous). Seven experimental groups were differentiated: first FSH and eCG treatment, second FSH and eCG treatment, eCG-interchanged group (does with previous FSH treatment), FSH-interchanged group (does with previous eCG treatments) and control group. Embryos were collected in vivo by laparoscopy 76-80 h post-insemination in the first and second recovery cycles and post mortem in the third recovery cycles. The ovulation rate was significantly higher in does treated with the first-FSH than in those treated with eCG or in control does (25.2+/-2.0 versus 19.2+/-1.4 to 11.0+/-1.5, and 12.2+/-1.2, first-FSH, first-eCG to second-eCG and control groups, respectively, P < 0.05). Significant differences were observed in the total recovery influenced by ovulation rate in each group (20.3+/-2.2 to 9.4+/-1.2, first-FSH to control groups). Embryo donor rate (donor with at least one normal embryo) was similar among groups with an overall of 75.1%. The number of normal embryos recovered per doe with at least one normal embryo increased significantly in relation to ovulation rate (17.7+/-2.2 to 8.41+/-3, first-FSH and control groups). The vitrification of embryos negatively affected their in vitro development to hatched blastocyst in all groups (88.1% versus 48%, P > 0.05). However, after embryo transfer, this negative effect was only observed in superovulated vitrified embryos (16.8 and 12.8% versus 39.4% total born rate from eCG, FSH and control vitrified groups, P < 0.05). Results indicated that the primary treatments with eCG or FSH increased the number of normal embryos recovered per donor doe, but these embryos are more sensitive to vitrification protocols.

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