Synchronization and superovulation are commonly used to obtain large numbers of embryos for experimental and practical purposes. This study compared the number, quality, and in vitro development of embryos recovered from gilts following single or double estrus synchronization and superovulation. Prepubertal gilts from the single synchronization group were injected with 1500 I.U. PMSG and 1000 I.U. hCG 72 h later. The double synchronized group of gilts was treated with 750 I.U. PMSG and 500 I.U. hCG 72 h later. After 17 days, 1500 I.U. PMSG followed by 1000 I.U. hCG was administered. Five days after insemination embryos were recovered and cultured for 6 days. Both single and double hormonal stimulation schedules resulted in recovery of elevated numbers of embryos (28.4 and 23.4 vs. 11.3; p<0.01and p≤0.05, respectively) with a higher percentage of embryos classified as degenerated (39.2% and 43.1%, respectively) compared to the non-stimulated, control group (5.1%). The number of embryos destined for culture did not differ between the single and double synchronized groups. The highest percentage of hatched embryos was observed in the control group. In conclusion, the single synchronization and superovulation schedule is sufficient to obtain high numbers of embryos, however, both synchronization methods resulted in the recovery of considerable numbers of degenerated embryos. A higher number and percentage of hatched embryos after culture was found among embryos from the control group compared to gonadotropin-stimulated gilts.
2005 Society for Reproduction and Development