Cell allocation to the inner cell mass and the trophectoderm in bovine embryos cultured in two different media

A. van Soom, M.L. Boerjan, M.T. Ysebaert, A. de Kruif

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    Data from other laboratories have shown that speed of bovine blastocyst development is higher when Menezo B2 is used for coculture compared to TCM199. It was our purpose to investigate whether this early blastocyst formation was also indicative of embryo quality by studying the allocation of inner cells in embryos generated by B2-coculture and by TCM199-coculture. For this purpose, a differential staining technique was used. General embryo development was similar for TCM199- and B2-embryos expressed as rate of cleavage at day 3 and morula-blastocyst formation at day 8 (P > 0.05), but significantly different when expressed as number of eight<ell stages at day 3 and expanded or hatched blastocysts at day 8 (P < 0.01). B2-embryos cultured until day 5, 6, and 7 post insemination, had total cell numbers of 24, 65, and 109 respectively, which was significantly higher than the cell number of TCM199-embryos cultured over the same time period (18, 41, and 71 respectively, P < 0.001). Morphological differentiation was significantly more advanced for B2-embryos at day 7 and 8 (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.001, respectively). First presumptive inner cells appeared in eight- to 16-cell stages at day 3. Because the determination of inner cells by differential staining is depending upon the presence of functional tight junctions, we concluded that the establishment of the tight junction seal in B2-embryos differed from that in TCM199-embryos: Inner cells appeared 0.56 cell cycle later in B2-embryos (P < 0.001) and a larger variation existed in the number of ICM-cells in B2-blastocysts (P < 0.001). The higher total cell number of B2-expanded blastocysts was mainly acquired by trophectoderm growth (P < 0.06). These data indicate that the apparent better quality of B2-embryos (faster cleavage, earlier blastocyst formation) is not reflected in a reliable number of inner cells of B2-blastocysts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171-182
    JournalMolecular reproduction and development
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1996

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