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Korean Journal of Fertility and Sterility 1997;24(2):233-239.
Published online January 1, 2001.
The Effects of Vero Cell Co-culture on Mouse Embryo Development.
Yoon Lee, June Hong Park, He Na Kang, Yong Bong Kim, Eung Soo Lee, Sung Kwan Park
Embryos of most mammalian species grown in vitro would undergo developmental arrest at the approximate time of genomic activation. Stage-specific cell block and the resulting rapid loss of embryo viability in conventional culture media have limited the duration for which embryos may be cultured prior to transfer. As a result, embryos are usually transferred to the uterus at the 4-to 8-cell stage to avoid the loss of viability associated with long-term in vitro culture. Early transfer has led to asynchrony of the endometrium-trophectoderm interaction at the time of implantation and a resultant reduction in the rate of implantation. To overcome these problems, a variety of co-culture systems has been devised in which embryos can develop for a longer period prior to embryo transfer. Vero cells, derived from African green monkey kidney, share a common embryologic origin with cells from the genital tract. In addition, they are potentially safe to use, since they are highly controlled for viruses and other contaminants. Therefore, co-culture using Vero cells has been widely utilized to enhance embryo viability and development, although not without controversies. We thus designed a series of experiments to demonstrate whether Vero cells do indeed enhance mouse embryo development as well as to compare the efficacy of co-culturing mouse 1-cell embryos on Vero cell monolayer in both Ham's F-10 and human tubal fluid (HTF) culture media. 1-cell stage ICR mouse embryos were cultured either in the presence of Vero cells (Group A) or in conventional culture medium alone (Group B). In Ham's F-10 significantly more 3-to-8cell embryos developed in group A than group B (59.8 versus 10.0%; F<0.01). In contrast, there was no significant difference in embryonic development both group A and group B in HTF. However, significant differences were noted only in later embryonic stage (13 and 0%; p<0.05 of group A and B respectively, hatching or hatched). In Ham's F-10, we also could observe the beneficial effect of Vero cell on hatching process (70.7 and 42.1%; p<0.05 of group A and group B respectively).


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