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Does the addition of salubrinal to in vitro maturation medium enhance bovine blastocyst yields and embryo cryotolerance?
journal contributionposted on 05.10.2018, 00:00 by Van Huong Do, S Walton, S Catt, Andrew Taylor-Robinson
BACKGROUND: Modifications to in vitro maturation (IVM) media are made to improve rates of blastocyst formation and quality of mammalian embryos. Embryo quality is an important factor in the viability of embryos following cryopreservation. Salubrinal is a specific inhibitor of endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis in eukaryotic cells. Here, it was added to IVM medium in an attempt to increase blastocyst formation and to enhance embryo quality in cattle. OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect on blastocyst formation and cryotolerance of the supplementation of salubrinal to bovine IVM medium. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) collected from slaughterhouse ovaries were assigned randomly to two groups, either cultured in IVM medium that was supplemented with 400 mM salubrinal (treated, 262 COCs) or that was not supplemented (control, 263 COCs). All oocytes of the matured COCs were fertilized in vitro with sperm from the same proven bull and cultured for 6-7 d. At the time of blastocyst collection, expanded blastocysts were chosen for cryopreservation, while early, hatching and hatched blastocysts and those of poor quality were not used. There were 83 expanded blastocysts classified to be of good quality in both the control and salubrinal-treated groups that were subjected to vitrification. After 5 to 10 months of cold storage, the embryos were warmed and cultured in vitro for 24 h to assess the survival rate and for 48 h to assess the hatching rate. RESULTS: The blastocyst developmental rate in the salubrinal-treated group was similar to that in the control group, 61.5% compared with 62.7% (P > 0.05). The survival rate of blastocysts after vitrification was also similar, at or very close to 100%. In addition, there was no statistically significant difference in the hatching rate of expanded blastocysts derived from the COCs cultured with (treated) and without (control) addition of salubrinal to the IVM medium (91.6% compared with 85.5%; P > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Supplementation of salubrinal to the IVM medium neither improved nor reduced rates of bovine blastocyst formation and of embryo cryotolerance as determined by post-warming viability.