2015 Volume 61 Issue 2 Pages 99-105
The present study aimed to establish an efficient system for bovine embryo production by in vitro fertilization (IVF) that can achieve stable normal fertilization and blastocyst developmental rates in any bull without optimization of the sperm concentration in IVF medium. We examined the effects of a PHE mixture (20 μM D-penicillamine, 10 μM hypotaurine and 1 μM epinephrine), theophylline (2.5 mM), and sperm concentration (1, 2 or 5 × 106 cells/ml) on fertilization and blastocyst developmental rates. High cleavage rates (78.3 to 92.4%) and blastocyst developmental rates (31.9 to 62.0%) at day 7 were obtained in the presence of PHE and theophylline in IVF medium with a sperm concentration of 2 × 106 cells/ml using sperm from 9 bulls. In addition, the synergistic effect of PHE and theophylline on normal fertilization (2 pronuclei) was clarified at 12 h after IVF with a sperm concentration of 1 × 106 cells/ml. Moreover, high linearity, high flagellar beat cross frequency, and low amplitude of lateral head of motile sperm were found by computer-assisted sperm analysis. In conclusion, the combination of the PHE mixture and theophylline synergistically accelerates sperm motility and sperm penetration of bovine oocytes. Theophylline activates sperm motility with increasing intracellular cAMP. However, PHE prevents an excessive increase of cAMP and maintains sperm motility without hyperactivation. When the combination of PHE and theophylline is added to IVF medium at a sperm concentration of 2 × 106 cells/ml, we can achieve stable normal fertilization and blastocyst development in any bull.