Development of sheep androgenetic embryos is boosted following transfer of male pronuclei into androgenetic hemizygotes.


Androgenetic embryos are useful model for investigating the contribution of the paternal genome to embryonic development. Little work has been done with androgenetic embryo production in domestic animals. The aim of this study was the production of diploid androgenetic sheep embryos. In vitro matured sheep oocytes were enucleated and fertilized in vitro; parthenogenetic and normally fertilized embryos were also produced as a control. Fifteen hours after in vitro fertilization (IVF), presumptive zygotes were centrifuged and scored for the number of pronucleus. IVF, parthenogenetic, and androgenetic embryos (haploid, diploid, and triploid) were cultured in SOFaa medium with bovine serum albumin (BSA). The proportion of oocytes with polyspermic fertilization increased linearly with increasing sperm concentration. After IVF, there was no significant difference in early cleavage and morula formation rates between the groups, while there was a significant difference on blastocyst development between IVF, parthenogenetic, and androgenetic embryos, the last ones displaying poor developmental potential (IVF, parthenogenetic, and haploid, diploid, and triploid androgenetic embryos: 43%, 38%, 0%, 2%, and 2%, respectively). In order to boost androgenetic embryonic development, we produced diploid androgenetic embryos through pronuclear transfer. Single pronuclei were aspirated with a bevelled pipette from haploid or diploid embryos and transferred into the perivitelline space of other haploid embryos, and the zygotes were reconstructed by electrofusion. Fusion rates approached 100%. Pronuclear transfer significantly increased blastocyst development (IVF, parthenogenetic, androgenetic: Diploid into Haploid, and Haploid into Haploid: 42%, 42%, 19%, and 3%, respectively); intriguingly, the Haploid + Diploid group showed the highest development to blastocyst stage. The main findings of our study are: (1) sheep androgenetic embryos display poor developmental ability compared with IVF and parthenogenetic embryos; (2) diploid androgenetic embryos produced by pronuclear exchange developed in higher proportion to blastocyst stage, particularly in the Diploid-Haploid group. In conclusion, pronuclear transfer is an effective method to produce sheep androgenetic blastocysts.

Cite this paper

@article{Matsukawa2007DevelopmentOS, title={Development of sheep androgenetic embryos is boosted following transfer of male pronuclei into androgenetic hemizygotes.}, author={Kazutsugu Matsukawa and Margherita Yayoi Turco and Pier Augusto Scapolo and Lawrence P Reynolds and Grażyna Ewa Ptak and Pasqualino Loi}, journal={Cloning and stem cells}, year={2007}, volume={9 3}, pages={374-81} }