Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Effect of circulating progesterone on in vitro developmental competence of bovine oocytes

L.F.M. Pfeifer, R. Sartori, I. Pivato, R. Rumpf, G.P. Nogueira, E.G. Xavier, N.J.L. Dionello, M.N. Corrêa

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This study evaluated the effects of systemic progesterone concentration on oocyte quality and in vitro embryo production. Oocytes were retrieved from 15 crossbred cows (Bos taurus x Bos indicus). These cows were randomly allocated into three groups to provide low; high, or very low (LP4, HP4 and VLP4, respectively) plasma progesterone concentrations and received either a previously used CIDR, two new CIDR devices, or no progesterone treatment (Day 0). The CIDR devices were replaced every 8 days along with 150 µg of D-cloprostenol injections. The ovum pick-up (OPU) procedure was performed every 4 days from Day 4 to 24. Simultaneous to OPU procedure, plasma was collected to measure progesterone and on Day 18, serial blood samples were collected to assess the pattern of LH release. Hormone concentrations were analyzed by ANOVA and the binomial variables were analyzed by Chi-square. Plasma progesterone concentration was higher in the HP4, intermediate in the LP4, and lower in the VLP4 group (3.6, 1.6, and 0.5 ng/ml; P < 0.05). Plasma LH was higher in the LP4, intermediary in the VLP4, and lower in the HP4 group (1.6, 1.0, and 0.8 ng/ml). A greater percentage of viable oocytes (grades I to III) was retrieved from LP4 (79.4%; 131/165) than from the HP4 (68.4%; 119/174) group (P = 0.07); the VLP4 group did not differ from the others (72.3%; 60/83). Furthermore, the blastocyst production and blastocyst rate was higher in LP4 (1.3 ± 0.4; 28.2%), than in HP4 (0.8 ± 0.4; 16.0%) or the VLP4 (0.4 ± 0.4; 15.0%) group (P = 0.06 and 0.03 for blastocyst production and rate, respectively). In conclusion, intermediate plasma P4 concentration that results in higher circulating LH in cows may improve in vitro embryo production.


cattle, in vitro embryo production, oocyte, progesterone
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