Reproductive fluids, used for the in vitro production of pig embryos, result in healthy offspring and avoid aberrant placental expression of PEG3 and LUM
Background: In vitro embryo production (IVP) and embryo transfer (ET) are two very common assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in human and cattle. However, in pig, the combination of either procedures, or even their use separately, is still considered suboptimal due to the low efficiency of IVP plus the difficulty of performing ET in the long and contorted uterus of the sow. In addition, the potential impact of these two ART on the health of the offspring is unknown. We investigated here
... investigated here if the use of an improved IVP system, with natural reproductive fluids (RF) as supplements to the culture media, combined with a minimal invasive surgery to perform ET, affects the output of the own IVP system as well as the reproductive performance of the mother and placental molecular traits.Results: The blastocyst rates obtained by both in vitro systems, conventional (C-IVP) and improved (RF-IVP), were similar. Pregnancy and farrowing rates were also similar. However, when compared to in vivo control (artificial insemination, AI), litter sizes of both IVP groups were lower, while placental efficiency was higher in AI than in RF-IVP. Gene expression studies revealed aberrant expression levels for PEG3 and LUM in placental tissue for C-IVP group when compared to AI, but not for RF-IVP group. Conclusions: The use of reproductive fluids as additives for the culture media in pig IVP does not improve reproductive performance of recipient mothers but can mitigate the impact of artificial procedures in the offspring.