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Reprod Domest Anim. 2018 Feb;53(1):243-248. doi: 10.1111/rda.13099. Epub 2017 Nov 7.

Oocyte holding in the Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus): Effect of initial oocyte quality and epidermal growth factor addition on in vitro maturation.

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Jesús Usón Minimally Invasive Surgery Centre, Cáceres, Spain.
Research Group of Intracellular Signalling and Technology of Reproduction (SINTREP), Institute of Biotechnology in Agriculture and Livestock (INBIO G+C), University of Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain.


Current in vitro embryo production protocols in the Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) need to be optimized; oocyte harvesting in situ followed by overnight holding could reduce the human effort and shipping costs. In our work, post-mortem ovaries were retrieved, and the oocytes were harvested and allocated to G1 group (good quality) or G2 + G3 group (low quality). The oocytes were separately subjected to immediate in vitro maturation (IVM) or held overnight in a holding medium composed of 40% of TCM 199 with Earle's salts, 40% TCM 199 with Hanks' salts and 20% fetal bovine serum (FBS), at room temperature (16 hr). In vitro maturation was carried out in a basal medium supplemented or not with 50 ng/ml of epidermal growth factor (EGF). Our data showed that addition of EGF to the maturation medium increases the percentage of G1 oocytes reaching metaphase II (3.9% vs. 50%, basal vs. EGF; p < .001) and decreased their degeneration rate (69.9% vs. 22.2%, basal vs. EGF; p < .01) when oocytes were immediately matured. Overnight holding increased the meiotic competence of G1 oocytes (37.5% matured in basal medium) and EGF increased prophase arrest in G2 + G3 oocytes (16.1% vs. 38.8% in germinal vesicle [GV] stage in basal medium vs. EGF added medium; p < .05). Our data demonstrate that oocyte holding can be used in Iberian red deer oocytes. Interestingly, EGF addition increases the oocytes' meiotic competence in immediately matured oocytes but not after oocyte holding depending upon initial oocyte quality.


Iberian red deer; epidermal growth factor; in vitro maturation; oocyte; overnight holding

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