Abstract #167

# 167
P. Ferré*1, K. X. Nguyen1, T. Wakai1, H. Funahashi1, 1Department of Animal Science, Okayama University, Okayama, Japan.

This experiment was undertaken to assess the meiotic and developmental competences of oocytes derived from different sized follicles and denuded of cumulus cells 0, 20, and 44 h after the start of culture for in vitro maturation (IVM). Groups of 60 oocyte-cumulus complexes from small- (SF; <3 mm) and medium-sized follicles (MF; 3–6 mm) were cultured for IVM in porcine oocyte medium with 50 μm β-mercaptoethanol supplemented with 1 mm dibutyryl-cyclic adenosine monophosphate, 10 IU/mL of eCG, and 10 IU/mL of hCG for 20 h at 39°C and 5% CO2 in air. Then, after washing, they continued culture in fresh β-mercaptoethanol without dibutyryl-cyclic adenosine monophosphate and gonadotropins under the same conditions for another 24 h. At 0, 20, and 44 h of IVM, cumulus cells were removed with 0.1% (wt/vol) hyaluronidase and the denuded oocytes continued IVM culture following the protocol. Mature oocytes with the first polar body were selected, parthenogenetically activated with a single electrical pulse (DC: 1.2 kV/cm, 30 µs), incubated with 4% (wt/vol) BSA and 5 μm cytochalasin B for 4 h, and cultured in porcine zygote medium for 5 days. Cleavage and blastocyst formation rates were observed on Day 2 and 5, respectively. Blastocysts were stained with 4’,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole for cell count assessment. The experiment was replicated 5 times and analysed with a 1- or 2-way ANOVA. If P < 0.05 in ANOVA, a Tukey multiple comparisons test was performed. Regardless of the time of cumulus cell removal, oocytes from MF had significantly higher in rates of maturation, cleavage, and blastocyst rates, as compared with those from SF, whereas there were no significant differences in the cell number of blastocysts between SF and MF (32 v. 34 cells, respectively). When oocytes were denuded before IVM culture, rates of oocyte maturation (37.6% in SF and 50.8% in MF), and blastocyst formation (2.7% in SF and 27.3% in MF) were significantly lower than controls (51.2% in SF and 76% in MF; 25.8% in SF and 48.5% in MF, respectively). When oocytes were denuded 20 h after the start of IVM, oocyte maturation rates were significantly increased (64.1% in SF and 82.5% in MF) as compared with controls, whereas no significant differences were observed in cleavage and blastocyst formation rates in comparison with controls. These results conclude that removing cumulus cells from oocyte-cumulus complexes 20 h after the start of IVM improves the meiotic competence of oocytes derived from both SF and MF, without any reduction of developmental competence of the oocytes following parthenogenetical activation.