It may be possible to avoid inadequate in vitro culture conditions by incubating gametes or embryos in the oviducts for a short time. Ideally, an optimized procedure should be devised, combining in vitro and in vivo systems, in order to achieve synchronization in cattle. We transferred gametes as well as embryos in various stages of development and placed them into the oviducts. Embryos were recovered on Day 7 by flushing of oviducts and uterine horns. Blastocyst rates were determined on Day 7 and on Day 8. Experimental designs included transfer of in vitro matured cumulus oocyte complexes into previously inseminated heifers (COCs group), transfer of in vitro matured COCs simultaneously with capacitated spermatozoa (GIFTs group), transfer of four to eight cell stage embryos developed in vitro after IVM/IVF (Cleaved Stages group) and a group of solely in vitro produced embryos (IVP control group). Our results indicate that in vivo culture of IVM/IVF embryos in the homologous bovine oviduct has a positive influence on subsequent pre-implantation development. In addition, we have evidence that in vitro maturation and in vivo fertilization cannot be synchronized.
Animals Blastocyst/physiology Cattle* Cell Culture Techniques Embryo Culture Techniques/veterinary Embryo Transfer/veterinary Female Fertilization in Vitro/veterinary Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer/veterinary* Oocytes/physiology Ovarian Follicle/cytology Pregnancy Time Factors Tissue and Organ Harvesting/veterinary Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer/veterinary*