Among the different techniques available to evaluate blastocyst quality, the most frequently used are those that allow the counting of the number of cells of the two distinct cell lineages present at this stage (trophectoderm or TE and inner cell mass or ICM), through differential staining. The goal of this study was to compare three different methods for the differential staining of mouse blastocysts: a TE selective labelling method using a lectin, a TE permeabilization method based on the use of a detergent, and immunodetection of TE and ICM specific markers. Mouse blastocysts produced by parthenogenetic activation were used to determine and compare the efficiency and the cell counts of each method. The results showed that the TE permeabilization and immunodetection methods were superior, providing equivalent TE, ICM, and total cell counts. © 2013 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.
- Embryo quality
- Inner cell mass