2016 Volume 62 Issue 4 Pages 379-384
In vitro growth culture systems for oocytes are being developed in several mammalian species. In these growth culture systems, in vitro grown oocytes usually have lower blastocyst formation than in vivo grown oocytes after in vitro fertilization. Furthermore, there have been a few reports that investigated the fertilization ability of in vitro grown oocytes in large animals. The purpose of this study was to investigate the fertilization process and developmental competence of bovine oocytes grown in vitro. Oocyte-granulosa cell complexes collected from bovine early antral follicles (0.4−0.7 mm in diameter) were cultured for growth with 17β-estradiol and androstenedione for 14 days and matured in vitro. These oocytes were then inseminated for 6 or 12 h, and further cultured for development up to 8 days in vitro. After growth culture, oocytes grew from 95 µm to around 120 µm and acquired maturation competence (79%). Although fertilization rates of in vitro grown oocytes were low after 6 h of insemination, 34% of in vitro grown oocytes fertilized normally after 12 h of insemination, having two polar bodies and two pronuclei with a sperm tail, and 22% of these oocytes developed into blastocysts after 8 days of culture. The fertilization and blastocyst formation rates were similar to those of in vivo grown oocytes. In addition, blastocyst cell numbers were also similar between in vitro and in vivo grown oocytes. In conclusion, in vitro grown bovine oocytes are similar to in vivo grown oocytes in fertilization ability and can develop into blastocysts.