Environment of oocyte and embryo determines heath of IVP offspring

T.A.M. Kruip, M.M. Bevers, B. Kemp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


In vitro embryo production (IVP) enhances the number of offspring from a single female and offers the possibility of accelerated genetic progress in animal husbandry. However, it also leads to a low but unacceptable percentage of anomalies in the offspring. The aim of this paper is to introduce the three speakers at this afternoon session who will speak about the demands of culture conditions and the endometrial environment to support normal embryonic development without effects on the embryonic genome. It will be argued that the in vitro conditions should mimic precisely the oviductal contributions to homeostatic mechanisms within the embryo. The further normal development can be guaranteed at synchrony in development of both endometrium and embryo. If that is not the case one can expect disturbances of gene expression, in particular of imprinted genes. However, it cannot be excluded that some processes might have started already in the cytoplasm of the oocyte. Since the oocyte was not planned to be a separate subject in this symposium, this introduction is also aimed to ask attention for the selection of cumulus-oocyte-complexes (COCs) and the conditions around oocyte maturation in vitro. The optimal quality of both the oocyte and maturation medium are prerequisites for an undisturbed cytoplasmic maturation. It has been argued that the exclusion of COCs from atretic follicles, the abjuration of the use of serum and high O2 tension in the gas phase might help to reduce the proportion anomalies in the offspring after synchronous transfers. In human IVF, in vivo matured oocytes are used with no great problems. But before IVP, including oocyte maturation in vitro (IVM) and a longer lasting embryo culture (IVC), will be introduced into the human assisted reproduction, it is important to think about the ins and outs of the potential causes for deviations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-618
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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