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Comparison of the production, quality, and in vitro maturation capacity of oocytes from untreated cycling and intermediate phase equine serum gonadotropin-treated fat-tailed dunnarts (Sminthopsis crassicaudata)

By N. A. Czarny, J. I. Garnham, M. S. Harris and J. C. Rodger

Abstract

This study describes ovarian changes during the natural and stimulated reproductive cycle of breeding (≤12 month) and retired (>12 month) fat-tailed dunnarts, Sminthopsis crassicaudata. Increased urinary cornified epithelial cells and the influx of leukocytes defined day 0, at which time the naturally cycling females had already ovulated; at day 16 females had no antral follicles, but by day 20 antral follicles had begun to develop. There was no difference between naturally cycling breeding and retired females. Females were stimulated with 1 IU equine serum gonadotropin (eSG) during the intermediate phase on day 16 and killed 3, 4, or 5 days later. Stimulation resulted in a significant increase in the number of growing antral follicles but retired females demonstrated a reduced response. Upon collection from breeding females 4 days following eSG stimulation, 100% of oocytes were at the first polar body (PB1) stage, those collected from retired females were immature upon collection but within 48 h 98.2±1.9% were cultured to the PB1 stage. The rate of ovulation was high in breeding females 5 days following stimulation but retired females were less reliable, and in both groups all oocytes were degraded. This is the first study to describe a reliable technique, involving ovarian stimulation during the intermediate phase and segregation of age groups, allowing the collection of a large number of healthy PB1 stage oocytes from S. crassicaudata. This is important for the development of further assisted reproductive techniques for this species and threatened dasyurids

Topics: Sminthopsis crassicaudata, oocytes, dasyurids, in vitro maturation
Publisher: BioScientifica
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1530/rep-09-0064
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