2016 Volume 37 Issue 1 Pages 63-71
To clarify the relationship between ovarian reserve and the developmental competence of bovine oocytes, oocyte-granulosa complexes (OGCs) collected from early antral follicles (≤1 mm) in ovaries with high (≥25) and low (<25) antral follicle counts (AFCs) were used. OGCs derived from different AFC groups were cultured for growth followed by maturation, fertilization and blastocyst formation. Viability of OGCs during growth culture was similar between groups; however, OGCs in the high-AFC group had a larger number of granulosa cells than the low-AFC group at 12 days of growth. The proportion of matured oocytes in the high-AFC group was higher than that in the low-AFC group. Mitochondrial activity of oocytes before maturation in the high-AFC group was higher than that in the low-AFC group; however, accumulation of reactive oxygen species was similar between groups. Cleavage rate in the high-AFC group tended to be higher than that in the low-AFC group, although blastocyst development was similar between groups. In conclusion, oocytes derived from ovaries with high AFC have higher maturational ability and fertilizability than those from low AFC. The difference may be caused by high proliferation of granulosa cells from ovaries with high AFC.