2004 Volume 66 Issue 1 Pages 63-66
This study was conducted to evaluate whether refining mineral oil and the addition of hemoglobin and/or glucose to a serum-free medium could improve in vitro-development of embryos cultured in a chemicallysemi-defined microdroplet culture system. Block strain, outbred (ICR) mouse 1- or 2-cell embryos were cultured in 5 μl droplets of Chatot, Ziomek and Bavister medium overlaid with mineral oil of different types, and preimplantation development to the blastocyst stage was subsequently monitored. In the experiment 1, either Sigma (M-8410) or BDH (GPR TM) mineral oil with or without washing was used for embryo culture and, distilled water (DW) or culture medium was used as a washing agent. As results, better (P<0.0001) development of 1-cell embryos was found in the Sigma than in the BDH; more blastocysts developed in Sigma oil washed with culture medium than in the others (37% vs. 0%). Subsequently, 1- (experiment 2) or 2-cell (experiment 3) embryos were cultured in the droplets overlaid with medium-washed Sigma oil, to which 0.001 mg/ml hemoglobin and/or 5.6 mM glucose were supplemented at the 1-cell and the 4-cell stages, respectively. Regardless of embryo stages, blastocyst formation was significantly improved by the addition of hemoglobin (54 to 48% vs. 42 to 31% in 1-cell and 83 to 78% vs. 65 to 68% in 2-cell embryos) and this effect was independent of glucose addition. In conclusion, the selection and washing of mineral oil, and the addition of hemoglobin is beneficial for improving the efficacy of a drop embryo culture system using a serum-free medium.