Minimally Invasive Embryo Transfer and Embryo Vitrification at the Optimal Embryo Stage in 3 Rabbit Model
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AuthorGarcía-Domínguez, Ximo; Marco-Jiménez, Francisco; Viudes-De-Castro, María P.; Vicente, José Salvador
Cita bibliográficaGarcia-Dominguez, X., Marco-Jimenez, F., Viudes-de-Castro, M. P., & Vicente, J. S. (2019). Minimally invasive embryo transfer and embryo vitrification at the optimal embryo stage in rabbit model. JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments), (147), e58055.
Assisted reproductive techniques (ARTs), such as in vitro embryo culture or embryo cryopreservation, affect natural development patterns with perinatal and postnatal consequences. To ensure the innocuousness of ARTs applications, studies in animal models are necessary. In addition, as a last step, embryo development studies require evaluation of their capacity to develop full-term healthy offspring. Here, embryo transfer to the uterus is indispensable to perform any ARTs-related experiment. The rabbit has been used as a model organism to study mammalian reproduction for over a century. In addition to its phylogenetic proximity to the human species and its small size and low maintenance cost, it has important reproductive characteristics such as induced ovulation, a chronology of early embryonic development similar to humans and a short gestation that allow us to study the consequences of ARTs application easily. Moreover, ARTs (such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection, embryo culture, or cryopreservation) are applied with suitable efficiency in this species. Using the laparoscopic embryo transfer technique and the cryopreservation protocol presented in this article, we describe 1) how to transfer embryos through an easy, minimally invasive technique and 2) an effective protocol for long-term storage of rabbit embryos to provide time-flexible logistical capacities and the ability to transport the sample. The outcomes obtained after transferring rabbit embryos at different developmental stages indicate that morula is the ideal stage for rabbit embryo recovery and transfer. Thus, an oviductal embryo transfer is required, justifying the surgical procedure. Furthermore, rabbit morulae are successfully vitrified and laparoscopically transferred, proving the effectiveness of the described technique