In domestic cats, the maturation, fertilization, and development potential in vitro decreases during the non-breeding season. This study aims at evaluating the efficacy of Brilliant Cresyl Blue (BCB) staining in selecting developmentally competent oocytes to be used in in vitro embryo production (IVEP) programs in order to overcome the season variability in blastocyst yield. Cumulus-oocytes complexes (COCs) collected from antral follicles of domestic cat ovaries during the anestrus phase (July to November) were selected by BCB staining and classified as BCB+ (colored cytoplasm) and BCB− (colorless cytoplasm). COCs not exposed to BCB staining were used as control. Before and after in vitro maturation mitochondrial activity and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured. Following in vitro fertilization, blastocyst rate, hatching rate, and blastocyst cell numbers were recorded. The results show that BCB staining did not alter the mitochondrial function and ROS production in cat oocytes. BCB+ oocytes presented a higher (p < 0.05) blastocyst rate, hatching rate, and blastocyst cell number than BCB− and control oocytes. In conclusion, BCB staining does not affect the bioenergetic/oxidative status of the oocyte while being a useful tool for selecting good quality oocytes to increase IVEP in domestic cats during non-breeding season.
- Domestic cat
- In vitro maturation