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Theriogenology. 1997 Apr 15;47(6):1245-52.

In vitro fertilization in mice: Strain differences in response to superovulation protocols and effect of cumulus cell removal.

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Department of Comparative Medicine and the UAB Transgenic Animal/ES Cell Resource, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-0019 USA.


Strain differences have proven to be crucial components in mouse in vitro fertilization (IVF) and superovulatory protocols. To maximize the yield of IVF-derived mouse eggs, a series of experiments was conducted using different injection timing intervals for administration of pregnant mare serum gonadotropin (PMSG) and hCG to induce follicular development and ovulation. Strains were chosen that were representative of those commonly used in genetic engineering experimentation. These strains included ICR outbred, C57BL/6 inbred, and B6SJLF1 hybrid (C57BL/6J x SJL/J F1) mice. Females were superovulated using 4 PMSG/hCG/IVF timing regimens (group), with sperm obtained from males of the same strain. Group designations were based on the following PMSG/hCG and hCG/oocyte collection intervals, respectively: Group 1, 55 and 21.5 h; Group 2, 60 and 14.5 h; Group 3, 55 and 14.5 h; Group 4, 48 and 14.5 h. After overnight culture of ova, fertilization rates (development to the 2-cell stage) were assessed. A logistic regression was performed using indicator variables for both strain and group. There was a significant strain influence on ova fertilization rate, based on the coefficients of mouse strain (ICR, beta = -1.1067, P = 8E-17 and C57BL/6, beta = -0.5172, P = 8E-06). Additionally, group affected the proportion of fertilized ova obtained (coefficient of Group 1, beta = -1.3152, P = 0.00 and Group 3, beta = 0.9531, P = 3E-12). From the coefficients for the interaction terms, the effect of groups varies across mouse strain. Therefore, the treatment that produces the highest fertilization rate is related to and contingent upon the strain of mouse. In the second study, the Group 3 protocol was used to evaluate fertilization differences between cumulus-intact and cumulus-free oocytes. Again, there was a significant strain influence on ova fertilization rate based on the coefficients of mouse strain (ICR, beta = -2.6639, P = 0.00; C57BL/6, beta = -2.5114, P = 0.00). However, there was no difference between Cumulus and No Cumulus groups (cumulus coefficient, beta = 0.1640, P = 0.59872), indicating that there was no affect of cumulus presence on fertilization rate. In summary, responses to standardized mouse IVF protocols vary significantly. The efficiency of IVF procedures can be optimized between and within specific mouse strains by the timing of superovulatory regimens. However, absence of cumulus cells during the IVF procedure does not adversely affect fertilization rate.


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