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Theriogenology. 2010 Apr 1;73(6):748-57. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2009.08.001. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

Short-term and long-term effects of embryo culture in the surrogate sheep oviduct versus in vitro culture for different domestic species.

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Laboratorio di Tecnologie della Riproduzione, Istituto Sperimentale Italiano Lazzaro Spallanzani, AVANTEA srl, Via Porcellasco 7/f, 26100 Cremona, Italy.


The culture of early embryos in the surrogate xeno-oviduct was first developed in the early 1950s to allow transport of embryos at long distances. Later, it was applied to the study of culture requirements of the early embryo especially that of bovine origin. In this article, we review the data available on the culture of in vitro-matured and in vitro-fertilized embryos of Bos taurus, Sus scrofa, Equus caballus and Ovis aries in the surrogate sheep oviduct compared with data on in vitro culture in different media. Short-term and long-term cellular and molecular effects are described mainly for the bovine species where more extensive use of this technique has been made. A comparison with in vitro culture in various conditions and species indicate that embryos cultured in the sheep oviduct have close similarities to totally in vivo-derived embryos. The data provided demonstrate that the technique of in vivo culture in the surrogate sheep oviduct is versatile and allows a high rate of embryonic development in all species examined.

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