Difference in sensitivity to culture condition between in vitro fertilized and somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos in pigs

Ken Ichi Yamanaka, Satoshi Sugimura, Takuya Wakai, Manabu Kawahara, Eimei Sato

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32 Citations (Scopus)


We evaluated the developmental competence of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos using in vitro embryo culture systems. Embryos were cultured in NCSU-23, NCSU-23 supplemented with essential and non-essential amino acids (NCSU-23aa) or modified PZM-5 supplemented with BSA instead of PVA (mPZM-5). The rates of blastocyst formation were significantly higher in the mPZM-5 group than in the other groups, regardless of the method of embryo production (38.0 vs. 25.3 or 29.1% for IVF, 18.2 vs. 8.7 or 9.4% for SCNT, respectively). The mean cell numbers of IVF and SCNT blastocysts were also significantly higher in mPZM-5 than in the other groups (62.0 vs. 42.3 or 43.0 for IVF, 46.5 vs. 29.4 or 31.3 for SCNT, respectively). Next, the embryos were cultured in mPZM-5 from days 0 to 4 and then in mPZM-5 (P/P), NCSU-23 (P/N) or NCSU-23aa (P/Naa) until day 6. The rates of blastocyst formation were similar among the 3 two-step culture systems in both embryo groups (36.2, 34.2, and 33.6% for IVF, 20.8, 14.1, and 17.2% for SCNT, respectively). The mean cell number in the IVF and SCNT blastocysts was significantly lower in P/N than in P/ P and P/Naa (46.5 vs. 63.5 and 68.7 for IVF, 29.3 vs. 45.5 and 39.7 for SCNT, respectively). Next, we examined the effect of media on apoptosis in IVF and SCNT blastocysts. The apoptosis indices in the blastocysts derived from either NCSU- 23 or mPZM-5 were analyzed by TUNEL assay. The apoptosis index of the SCNT blastocysts was significantly lower in mPZM-5 than in NCSU-23 (8.8 vs. 13.6%), whereas no such difference was observed between groups in the IVF embryos (5.1 vs. 4.4%). These data suggested that SCNT embryos were more easily affected by culture environment compared with IVF embryos, offering the possibility to further enhance the developmental competence of SCNT embryos by developing more appropriate culture conditions in pigs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Apoptosis
  • In vitro embryo culture
  • Miniature pig
  • Nuclear transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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