Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Has Beneficial Effect Independent of Serum Components throughout Oocyte Maturation and Early Embryonic Development in Cattle

  • Luo, Hailing (The College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Kimura, Koji (Department of Animal Breeding and Reproduction, National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science) ;
  • Hirako, Makoto (Department of Research Planning and Coordination, Headquarters of National Agriculture and Bio-oriented Research Organization)
  • Received : 2005.05.28
  • Accepted : 2005.11.24
  • Published : 2006.04.01


In our previous studies, we demonstrated that Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) enhances bovine oocyte maturation and early embryonic development in serum supplemented media. In this experiment, to determine the synergistic effect of VEGF with serum components on early embryonic development in vitro in cattle, 1 mg/ml polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA) was replaced with foetal bovine serum (FBS) in maturation and culture media. Bovine oocytes were matured in Synthetic Oviduct Fluid (SOF) supplemented with PVA, PVA+5 ng/ml of VEGF, FBS, or FBS+VEGF. Fertilized oocytes were cultured in the same conditions for 8 days. The development of embryos was examined at 48 h post- insemination and on days 6, 7 and 8. The results were analyzed using repeated measures two- factor ANOVA, in which the effects of VEGF and serum were assigned as two factors. The development rate to 4- to 8-cell embryos at 48 h was significantly higher in the PVA+VEGF group than in the PVA group (44.7% and 31.5%, respectively). However, the highest development rate to 4- to 8-cell embryos was obtained from the FBS+VEGF group (58.8%). On day 8, the blastocyst rates were higher in the PVA+VEGF (22.8%), FBS (32.1%, p<0.05) and FBS+VEGF (42.1%, p<0.05) groups than in the PVA group (17.1%). Two- factor ANOVA of the development rates indicates that VEGF had a significant effect, but had no synergistic effect with serum components on early embryonic development. The results of the present study demonstrate that VEGF improves the in vitro developmental competence of bovine oocytes and/or embryos independent of the effect of serum components.


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