, Volume 31, Issue 1–2, pp 123–131 | Cite as

A serum-free culture system for efficient in vitro production of bovine blastocysts with improved viability after freezing and thawing

  • Shoko Yamashita
  • Hiroyuki Abe
  • Takehiro Itoh
  • Takeshi Satoh
  • Hiroyoshi Hoshi


The aim of this study was to evaluate whether two completely serum-free media (IVMD101 and IVD101) could improve the yield and quality of bovine blastocysts from in vitro matured and fertilized oocytes. The media were evaluated in the presence (IVMD101) or absence (IVD101) of bovine cumulus/granulosa cell (BCGC) cocultures. The proportion of embryos developing to the blastocyst stage in IVMD101 medium with BCGC cocultures (36.5%) and IVD101 medium without BCGC cocultures (37.1%) was significantly higher than in serum-supplemented medium (TCM199 + 5% calf serum) with BCGC cocultures (25.1%). Furthermore, the mean cell numbers per blastocyst on Day 7 developed in IVMD101 medium (179.5 cells) and IVD101 medium (177.1 cells) were greater than in the serum-supplemented medium (145.7 cells). The survival rates of blastocysts derived in IVMD101 medium (73.3%) and IVD101 medium (60.0%) based on hatching after 72 h of post-thaw culture were superior to that of blastocysts derived in the serum-supplemented medium (48.1%). Under microscopic observation, bovine blastocysts derived in the serum-supplemented medium showed abundant lipid droplets, largely into the trophectoderm cells. This morphological difference may partly explain the sensitivity of serum-derived embryos after freezing and thawing. In conclusion, these new serum-free culture media are useful, not only to study the mechanisms of early embryogenesis, but also for mass production of good quality embryos for embryo transfer, cloning and transgenesis.

bovine embryo cell morphology cell number cryopreservation in vitro culture serum-free medium 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shoko Yamashita
  • Hiroyuki Abe
  • Takehiro Itoh
  • Takeshi Satoh
  • Hiroyoshi Hoshi

There are no affiliations available

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