Polyvinyl alcohol and amino acids as substitutes for bovine serum albumin in culture media for mouse preimplantation embryos.


The effect of replacing bovine serum albumin (BSA) in a simple defined medium (KSOM) with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and/or amino acids on the percentages of mouse zygotes that develop to at least the blastocyst stage and that hatch at least partially or completely is reported. Blastocysts could form when BSA was replaced with only PVA, but at a moderately reduced rate; however, partial hatching, and hence complete hatching, were severely impaired when BSA was replaced with only PVA. The substitution of BSA with amino acids alone resulted in a high rate of blastocyst formation and moderate impairment of hatching. The addition of PVA to BSA-free KSOM supplemented with amino acids had no extra effect. BSA had significant effects when added to BSA-free KSOM supplemented with amino acids. The BSA caused a significant increase in the rate of partial hatching, and may even have had a small effect on the rate of blastocyst formation. The results also showed that glucose, at a high concentration of 5.56 mM, does not inhibit the development of mouse zygotes to hatched blastocysts when cultured in KSOM supplemented with amino acids.

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