Long-term culture preantral and early antral ovarian follicles in mammals- perspectives and recent development
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The ovary of mammal contains thousands of oocytes enclosed in the preantral and early antral follicles. Since more than 99% of ovarian oocytes undergo atresia, it would be of great practical benefit if these follicles could be rescued by a long-term in vitro culture leading to provide an additional source of gametes and allowing for more efficient improvement of the reproductive potential of female. Until now, research on the isolated preantral follicles are the best developed in rodents. In mouse, investigations have led to follicle growth and antrum formation, ovulation in vitro and even to a few live kids after in vitro maturation and fertilization of the oocytes recovered from in vitro cultured preantral and even primordial follicles. Recently, some progress in the development of methods that allow obtaining competent oocytes and, after IVF, even blastocysts was shown in farm animals. However, only follicles with selected size can be utilized for these purposes. The successful results are encouraging for further development of methods for culture of preantral follicles in farm animals. In the article, techniques of follicle recovery, in vitro culture systems, methods for evaluation of oocyte growth, quality and competence for maturity and IVF including our impact in development of presented methods are discussed.
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L. Katska-Ksiazkiewicz, Zaklad Fizjologii Rozrodu Zwierzat, Instytut Zootechniki, 32-083 Balice k. Krakowa, Poland