One-cell bovine embryos fertilized in vivo were cultured in TCM-199 and bovine oviductal epithelial cells, in TCM-199, or in explanted immature mouse oviducts supported by TCM-199 to compare development to the blastocyst stage. The morphological stage of development and cell number were determined following 144 hours of culture. Of the embryos that cleaved at least once, 52.6, 30.4 and 0.0% developed to the morula/blastocyst stage after culture in oviductal epithelial cells, in TCM-199 alone, or in explanted mouse oviducts, respectively. The mean total cell number for embryos cultured in oviductal epithelial cells (24.5) was higher than for embryos cultured in TCM-199 (12.8) or in explanted mouse oviducts (5.9; P<0.05). The mean cell number of embryos cultured in TCM-199 or in explanted mouse oviducts did not differ. The explanted immature mouse oviduct supported by TCM-199 did not provide an environment adequate for development of one-cell bovine embryos to the blastocyst stage. Development of one-cell bovine embryos was best supported by co-culture with oviductal epithelial cells in TCM-199 medium.
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