Superovulation and Transplantation of Demi- and Aggregated Embryos in Rabbits

  • Ju, J.C. (Department of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University) ;
  • Chang, Y.C. (Department of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University) ;
  • Huang, W.T. (Department of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University) ;
  • Tang, P.C. (Department of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University) ;
  • Cheng, S.P. (Department of Animal Science, National Chung-Hsing University)
  • Received : 2000.10.05
  • Accepted : 2000.12.08
  • Published : 2001.04.01


The effect of exogenous gonadotrophins on superovulation in rabbits was examined. One hundred and sixteen sexually mature California, Chinchilla and New Zealand White rabbits were randomly allocated to control (100 IU hCG), PMSG-treated (100 IU HCG following 150 IU PMSG) and FSH-treated groups (0.3 mg/head /12 h for 3 days followed by 100 IU hCG). All does were mated after hCG injection and were sacrificed or laparotomized within 1 to 4 days postcoitus for counting the number of ovulation points. The number of ovulations was higher in FSH-treated animals than in the control and PMSG-treated groups (37.2 vs. 10.4 and 14.5, p<0.05). Follicle haemorrhagicum was observed in many cases in the PMSG-treated group. No significant difference in ovulation number was observed between left and right ovaries regardless of gonadotropin treatment. In another experiment, 2-cell stage embryos were collected at 26 h postmating and blastomeres were separated by mechanical pipetting or gentle pressure with a fine glass needle. Aggregated or chimeric embryos were produced from two single blastomeres from two breeds, New Zealand White and Chinchlla, with different coat colors. All the embryos were cultured in Ham's F-10 medium supplemented with 1.5% BSA (bovine serum albumin fraction V) and 10% PRS (pregnant rabbit serum), and incubated in a humidified atmosphere with 5% $CO_2$ at $38^{\circ}C$. After development to morula or early blastocyst, the embryos were transferred into the oviducts of recipient does. Results showed that 7 out of 10 does (70%) receiving intact embryos (control) became pregnant and 41 kits were delivered. However, no pregnancy was obtained from the recipient of either denuded demi- or aggregated embryos. It is suggested that embryos without zona pellucida could not develop to term in rabbits.

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