In vitro fertilization and development of cumulus oocytes complexes collected by ultrasound-guided follicle aspiration in superstimulated llamas
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The objective was to evaluate the developmental competence of cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC) collected by follicular aspiration in llamas treated with FSH or eCG. Llamas were assigned randomly to two groups (n 16 per group) and treated, at the time of ovarian follicular wave emergence, with either: 1) 25 mg of FSH im, twice daily for 4 d; or 2) 1000 IU of eCG as a single i.m. dose. The start of gonadotropin treatment was considered Day 0. Both groups were given 5 mg of Armour Standard LH im on Day 6, and COC were collected by follicle aspiration on Day 7. Expanded COC collected from FSH- (n 157) and eCG-treated llamas (n 151) were fertilized in vitro using epididymal sperm, and presumptive zygotes were in vitro cultured in SOF medium for 8 d. The FSH and eCG treatment groups did not differ with respect to: the number of follicles 7 mm (16.0 2.7 vs 14.0 1.9, respectively; P 0.5); the number of COC collected (11.5 1.9 vs 9.7 1.2; P 0.4); the number of expanded COC (9.8 1.4 vs 9.4 1.2; P 0.8); or the percentage of presumptive zygotes which developed into 2 to 8 cell stage embryos (65.3 vs 63.1), morulas (46.2 vs 42.5), or blastocysts (23.1 vs 20.5; P 0.05). In conclusion, FSH and eCG treatments were equally effective for recovery of a high number of expanded COC which were used directly for in vitro fertilization. Furthermore, rate of embryo development was not significantly affected by the gonadotropin treatment used.
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