Xenogenous Intrafallopian Transfer of Horse (Equus caballus) Gametes
Wirtu, Gemechu G.
MetadataShow full item record
This study was undertaken to evaluate fertilization and early embryo development of in vitro matured (IVM) horse oocytes following transfer with homologous sperm to the oviduct of estrous ewes. A total of 1023 follicles (5.1 per ovary) were found after processing 202 slaughterhouse ovaries by aspiration and subsequent slicing. Most follicles (79%) were less than 20-mm in diameter. Six hundred sixty-seven oocytes were recovered (3.3 per ovary; recovery rate, 65%). About two-thirds of oocytes were recovered by slicing, which yielded twice the number of oocytes as aspiration. Sixty four percent cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) recovered by each method were grade A and the overall distribution of oocytes by grade was not affected by the method of recovery. Oocytes underwent IVM for an average of 41-h and were subjected to either in vitro fertilization (IVF) or xenogenous gamete intrafallopian transfer (XGIFT). At the onset of IVM, 83% COCs had compact cumulus investment. At the end of IVM, 78% COCs showed cumulus expansion. The expansion score was not improved with increasing the IVM duration from 32.3 to 50.3 h. Five (15%) IVF oocytes showed changes indicative of fertilization and two cleaved to 3 and 4-cell stages. Oviducts of 16 ewes were use for XGIFT, which involved surgical transfer of an average of 13 oocytes with 40x103 capacitated spermatozoa per oocyte. Of 259 oocytes transferred, 36 (14%) were recovered between 2 to 7 d post XGIFT and 13 (36%) showed cleavage ranging from the 2-cell to hatching blastocyst stage. The ovarian status of ewes and ligation of the uterotubal junction (UTJ) at the time of XGIFT, or the duration gametes were allowed to reside in the uterine tube, did not affect the recovery and cleavage rate. However, the most advanced stage embryos were recovered from ewes ovulating shortly after XGIFT. Fertilization following XGIFT was further demonstrated by the detection of ZFY loci in one embryo. This study demonstrated, for the first time, that horse embryos could be produced in a non-equine species. However, further studies focusing on the establishment of pregnancy in the mare using such embryos and improvement of the recovery and fertilization rates following XGIFT are recommended for use of XGIFT in horse assisted reproduction.
- Masters Theses