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Theriogenology. 1995 Jul 15;44(2):247-54.

Successful in vitro culture of early cleavage stage embryos recovered from superovulated red deer (Cervus elaphus).

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New Zealand Pastoral Agriculture Research Institute, Ruakura Agricultural Centre, Private Bag 3123, Hamilton, New Zealand.


Three separate embryo culture systems were evaluated for their ability to support development of early cleavage stage red deer (Cervus elaphus ) embryos: ligated sheep oviducts (Treatment A); cervine oviduct epithelial monolayer in TCM 199 + 10% deer serum (Treatment B); synthetic oviduct fluid + 20% human serum at 7% O(2) atmosphere (Treatment Q. In addition, 2 superovulation protocols were compared for their efficacy in producing early cleavage stage embryos. Twenty red deer (2 to 7 yr old) were synchronized in April with intravaginal CIDR devices for 12 d. All animals received a total of 0.4 units of ovine FSH administered in 8 equal doses, 12 h apart, beginning 72 h before removal of CIDR devices. The deer additionally received 200 IU PMSG, either with the first FSH injection (Group 1, n = 10) or with the last FSH injection (Group 2, n = 10). Hinds were placed with fertile stags following withdrawal of CIDR devices. Ova were collected by surgical recovery 63 h post CIDR removal. At the time of collection, animals in Group 2 had a significantly greater mean (+/- SEM) ovulation rate (11.2 +/- 2.4 vs 5.3 +/- 2.4), with more animals responding to treatment (>1 ovulation), than the animals in Group 1 (10/10 vs 4/10). Late in the breeding season (June), 10 additional red deer (Group 3, Experiment 2) were superovulated using the same protocol as for the deer in Group 2, with ova collection advanced by 24 h. Mean (+/- SEM) ovulation rate was 6.4 +/- 1.2 with 9 10 animals responding. Ova recovery did not differ among the groups (range 73 to 87%). Superovulation treatment did not affect cultured embryo development to the morula/blastocyst stage. Furthermore, there was no difference among the 3 culture systems in their support of development either to the morula (range 50 to 58%) or to the blastocyst (range 22 to 26%) stage. After laparoscopic transfer of 4 morula/blastocyst embryos to recipient red deer (2 from Treatment B and 2 from Treatment C) 2 live calves were born from embryos cultured in Treatment B.


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