Development of embryos in superovulated guinea pigs following active immunization against the inhibin alpha-subunit.
This study was undertaken to determine how far preimplantation guinea-pig embryos can develop normally in vitro with serum-free media generally used for mouse (Whitten's medium, WM) and rabbit (Kane's medium, KM) embryos. Preimplantation guinea-pig embryos were recovered from naturally mated females at each day of pregnancy between Day 1 and Day 6, and were cultured in vitro with either WM or KM at 37 degrees C in 5% CO2 in air. One-cell (Day-1) and 2-cell (early Day 2) embryos cultured in WM developed to the 4-cell and morulae stages respectively, whereas the corresponding embryos cultured in KM arrested development at the 2-cell and 8-cell stages respectively. In contrast, 4-cell (late Day 2 and Day 3) embryos proceeded to the blastocyst stage in KM, but not in WM. Eight-cell embryos (Day 4) and morulae (Day 5) developed to blastocysts in either medium. However, hatching of the blastocysts and trophoblast outgrowth on the culture dish were supported only by KM even when collected at the blastocyst stage. The present study suggests that, in guinea-pig embryos, a distinct change in nutritional requirements occurs around the time of the second cell division and that, unlike in the mouse, trophoblast outgrowth in the guinea-pig requires no supplementation of serum or extracellular matrices.