Contribution of the oocyte to embryo quality.

  • Publication date : 2005-11-28


Sirard MA, Richard F, Blondin P, Robert C. Contribution of the oocyte to embryo quality. Theriogenology. 2006;65:126-36. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2005.09.020. PubMed PMID: 16256189.

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animals cattle cell division embryo culture techniques embryo, mammalian female male meiosis oocytes ovarian follicle pregnancy


The ability of a bovine embryo to develop to the blastocyst stage, to implant and to generate a healthy offspring is not a simple process. To clarify the importance of the contribution of the oocyte to the embryo quality, it is important to define more precisely the different types of competence expressed by oocytes. The ability to resume meiosis, to cleave upon fertilization to develop into a blastocyst, to induce pregnancy and to generate an healthy offspring are all separate events and succeeding in the first events does not ensure the success of subsequent ones. Furthermore, these events are associated with the three types of maturation processes observed in the oocyte: meiotic, cytoplasmic and molecular. These abilities vary also upon the type of follicle the oocytes is removed from. Larger or slow-growing follicles have been shown to foster better eggs than small or actively growing follicles. Hormonal stimulation can also affect oocyte competence with the nature of the effect (positive or negative) depending on timing and dose. This complex situation requires better definition of the contribution of each factor affecting the oocyte competence and the resulting embryo quality.