Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 523–531 | Cite as

Exogenous growth factors do not affect the development of individually cultured murine embryos

  • Jason R. Herrick
  • Alison F. Greene-Ermisch
  • William B. Schoolcraft
  • Rebecca L. Krisher
Embryo Biology



The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of multiple growth factors on the development of individually cultured murine embryos.


Embryos produced by in vitro fertilization using in vitro (IVM) or in vivo (IVO) matured oocytes from three strains of mice (CF1, Swiss Webster, B6D2F1) were cultured individually (10 μl) in the absence (control) or presence of growth factors (paf, epidermal growth factor [EGF], insulin-like growth factor 1 [IGF-1], and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor [GM-CSF]). Blastocyst formation, hatching, and blastocyst cell numbers (trophectoderm, inner cell mass, and total) were evaluated on days 4 and 5 of culture. Post-hatching development of CF1 IVO embryos was also evaluated in vitro and in vivo.


The presence of growth factors did not improve the proportion of embryos forming blastocysts or initiating hatching for any of the types of embryos tested. The only significant (P < 0.05) effect of growth factors was a decrease in the proportion of embryos that formed blastocysts by day 5 in CF1 IVM embryos. The presence of growth factors also did not affect blastocyst cell numbers. For CF1 IVO embryos, the presence of growth factors during culture did not affect the proportion of embryos that attached to fibronectin-coated dishes, the size of the resulting outgrowths, or in vivo development following transfer.


Combinations of paf, EGF, GM-CSF, and IGF-1 did not improve development of murine embryos cultured individually in a sequential medium containing a defined protein source.


Culture medium Growth factors Individual/single culture Mouse strain Blastocyst 



The authors would like to thank Erik Strait, Caitlyn Graham, and Brittany Winters for excellent care of the mice used for this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason R. Herrick
    • 1
  • Alison F. Greene-Ermisch
    • 1
  • William B. Schoolcraft
    • 1
  • Rebecca L. Krisher
    • 1
  1. 1.Colorado Center for Reproductive MedicineLone TreeUSA

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