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Methods Mol Biol. 2019;2006:269-277. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9566-0_19.

Culture of Mink Preimplantation Embryos.

Author information

1
Centre de Recherché en Reproduction et Fertilité, Faculté de Médicine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, St-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada. fenelonj@unimelb.edu.au.
2
Centre de Recherché en Reproduction et Fertilité, Faculté de Médicine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, St-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada.

Abstract

The reproduction of the mink, Neovison vison, has been extensively studied over the past 70 years. The endocrine control of pregnancy is reasonably well understood, but our understanding of early embryo development is limited. The mink is one of the best characterized mammals for the study of embryonic diapause, but in order to unravel the complex interactions that occur between the blastocyst and the uterus during diapause and reactivation, a defined culture media system that supports growth is essential. Until recently, culture of the mink blastocyst has been relatively unsuccessful. This chapter will describe a method for successfully obtaining and culturing mink blastocysts and will highlight some of the unique challenges in working with this species. Methods to age match prediapause embryos in a mammal that exhibits superfetation, and to synchronize collection of reactivation from diapause stages using prolactin will be discussed. Finally, a quantitative method to determine the extent of cell proliferation in the blastocyst, a hallmark of reactivation from diapause, will be detailed.

KEYWORDS:

Blastocyst; Carnivore; Culture; Embryonic diapause; Mink

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