Effect of corifollitropin alfa supplemented with or without LH on ovarian stimulation and embryo viability in rabbit
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AuthorViudes-de-Castro, Maria P.; Marco-Jimenez, Francisco; Cedano-Castro, Jose I.; Vicente, Jose S.
Cita bibliográficaViudes-de-Castro, M.P., Marco-Jimenez, F., Cedano-Castro, J. I., Vicente, J. S. (2017). Effect of corifollitropin alfa supplemented with or without LH on ovarian stimulation and embryo viability in rabbit. Theriogenology, 98, 68-74.
There is increasing interest in using rabbits for research as a laboratory model as well as for industrial production of meat, wool and fur. Superovulation in animals is used to produce a maximum number of transferable embryos per donor, in order to either support genetic improvement programs, ex situ conservation or to optimize other biotechnologies. Over time, the use of this biotechnology has shown variable outcomes as a consequence of several factors, such as the origin of exogenous hormone, posology and the effect of gonadotropins used simultaneously, the donor and the environment. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of a single injection of corifollitropin alfa (CTP), alone or supplemented with LH, versus a FSH standard protocol of five equal doses administered twice daily to superovulate rabbit does (20 per group and 29 control females). We determined: 1) the impact of this stimulation on in vitro development and mRNA expression at blastocyst stage and 2) in vivo embryo development and viability rate at birth of transferred embryos. Our outcomes showed that the ovulation rate was similar among the different ovarian stimulation groups, reaching more than fourfold the ovulation rate of a control doe. While rates of embryos developing to the blastocyst stage after 48 h of in vitro culture were similar between groups, the hatched blastocyst rate was higher for superovulated embryos from CTP group. Moreover, no significant differences among mRNA expression of 0CT4, SOX2 and NANOG genes were detected. Nevertheless, embryos from ovarian stimulated does with CTP + LH showed significantly higher implantation rates and survival at birth among the different ovarian stimulation groups and similar to those in the control group. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that a single injection of long acting corifollitropin alfa can be effectively used in rabbits to elicit a more than fourfold increase in ovulation rate compared to control animals. In addition, the LH supplementation allows us to obtain similar in vivo embryo development results as in the control group. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.