Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Thematic Section: 39th Annual Meeting of the Association of Embryo Technology in Europe (AETE)

The interaction between the environment and embryo development in assisted reproduction

Urban Besenfelder; Vitezslav Havlicek

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It can be assumed that the natural processes of selection and developmental condition in the animal provide the best prerequisites for embryogenesis resulting in pregnancy and subsequent birth of a healthy neonate. In contrast, circumventing the natural selection mechanisms and all developmental conditions in a healthy animal harbors the risk of counteracting, preventing or reducing the formation of embryos or substantially restricting their genesis. Considering these facts, it seems to be obvious that assisted reproductive techniques focusing on early embryonic stages serve an expanded and unselected germ cell pool of oocytes and sperm cells, and include the culture of embryos outside their natural habitat during and after fertilization for manipulation and diagnostic purposes, and for storage. A significant influence on the early embryonic development is seen in the extracorporeal culture of bovine embryos (in vitro) or stress on the animal organism (in vivo). The in vitro production per se and metabolic as well as endocrine changes in the natural environment of embryos represent adequate models and serve for a better understanding. The purpose of this review is to give a brief presentation of recent techniques aimed at focusing more on the complex processes in the Fallopian tube to contrast in vivo and in vitro prerequisites and abnormalities in early embryonic development and serve to identify potential new ways to make the use of ARTs more feasible.


assisted reproduction, embryo development, environment, oviduct, endoscopy


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