A Brief Incubation of Cumulus-Enclosed Mouse Eggs in a Calcium-Free Medium Containing a High Concentration of Calcium-Chelator Markedly Improves Preimplantation Development. uri icon


  • The presence of cumulus cells (CCs) surrounding ovulated eggs is beneficial to in vitro fertilization and preimplantation development outcomes in several mammalian species. In the mouse, this contribution has a negligible effect on the fertilization rate; however, it is not yet clear whether it has positive effects on preimplantation development. Here, we compared the rates of in vitro fertilization and preimplantation development of ovulated B6C3F1 CC-enclosed vs. CC-free eggs, the latter obtained either after a 5 min treatment in M2 medium containing hyaluronidase or after 5-25 min in M2 medium supplemented with 34.2 mM EDTA (M2-EDTA). We found that, although the maintenance of CCs around ovulated eggs does not increment their developmental rate to blastocyst, the quality of the latter is significantly enhanced. Most importantly, for the first time, we describe a further quantitative and qualitative improvement, on preimplantation development, when CC-enclosed eggs are isolated from the oviducts in M2-EDTA and left in this medium for a total of 5 min prior to sperm insemination. Altogether, our results establish an important advancement in mouse IVF procedures that would be now interesting to test on other mammalian species.

publication date

  • May 17, 2020