The aim of this study was to analyze different culture systems on embryo development of prepubertal goat oocytes. We compare (i) the effect of the age of donor (goat) of oocytes on in vitro maturation, fertilization and subsequent embryo development, (ii) the effect of the origin of oviduct cells from coculture of prepubertal goat embryo development, and (iii) the effect of in vivo culture in rabbit oviducts for 1, 2 and 3 days on the development of prepubertal goat embryos produced in vitro. In Experiment 1, at 24 h post-insemination (hpi), oocytes from adult goats were allocated in TCM199 with oviduct cells from adult goats, and oocytes from prepubertal goats were randomly placed in drops with oviduct epithelial cells from adult (aOEC) or prepubertal (pOEC) goats. Cleavage rate and embryo development were evaluated at 48 hpi and after 7 days coculture, respectively. In Experiment 2, at 24 hpi, prepubertal oocytes were allocated in TCM199 with pOEC. At 40-42 hpi, a group of embryos remained in the coculture (control group), and the rest were transferred to rabbit oviducts (three rabbits for replicate) for culturing in vivo for 24, 48 and 72 h. After these in vivo cultures, embryos were recovered, evaluated and placed in TCM199 with pOEC until Day 8 post-insemination. The maturation, fertilization and blastocyst rates did not differ significantly between oocytes obtained from adult and prepubertal goats. The percentage of blastocysts obtained from prepubertal goat embryos cocultured with aOEC or pOEC was also similar (12.1% versus 12.2%). The transfer of prepubertal goat embryos to rabbit oviducts for 1, 2 and 3 days did not improve the blastocyst rate compared to the control group (9.7, 10.9, 4.1 and 11.5%, respectively). In conclusion, in our conditions, there were no significant differences in embryo development between oocytes obtained from prepubertal and adult goats, and the embryo development from prepubertal goat oocytes were similar in the different culture systems compared. © 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.
- In vivo culture