2007 Volume 53 Issue 6 Pages 1183-1190
Since very few oocytes grow completely in vivo, in vitro growth (IVG) of ovarian oocytes may provide a new source of functional oocytes. The long-term effects of in vitro maturation (IVM) of oocytes and in vitro culture of fertilized eggs have been reported; however, the effects of IVG of oocytes are unknown. Here in, we report the long-term effects of IVG of oocytes. Ovaries from 1-day-old mice containing non-growing oocytes were cultured for 10 days; the isolated follicles were then cultured for 11 days. Secondary follicles from 10-day-old mice were also cultured for 11 days. The nuclei of oocytes collected from the IVG and Graafiais follicles of adult mice were transferred to enucleated oocytes grown in vivo, respectively. Developmental competence was examined following IVM of the reconstituted oocytes. Chronologically, oocytes of 1-day-old, 10-day-old and adult mice were cultured for 22, 12 and 1 day(s). The result showed that the reconstituted eggs developed into pups at high rates after nuclear transfer and in vitro fertilization (IVF) in all the experimental groups (29-45%). However, the pups from reconstituted eggs containing the nuclei of 22-day cultured oocytes were heavier than the control pups (P<0.05). We concluded that long-term culture of oocytes did not affect their nuclear ability to develop to term; however, fetal growth was affected by the culture duration or culture conditions during the initial phase of follicular growth.