Effect of in vitro maturation of mouse oocytes on the health and lifespan of adult offspring.

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Animals, Behavior-Animal, Cardiac-Output, Culture-Media, Embryo-Transfer, Female, Fertilization-in-Vitro, Heart-Rate, Humans, Longevity, Male, Mice, Oocytes, Pregnancy, Reproductive-Techniques-Assisted

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Hum Reprod 2009 Apr; 24(4):922-8.


BACKGROUND: In vitro maturation of oocytes can, in some circumstances, provide an alternative approach to gonadotrophin-induced maturation in clinical settings. However, the consequences of these protocols on the long-term health of offspring are unknown. Here, the long-term health status and lifespans of offspring produced by in vitro maturation of mouse oocytes was compared with that of oocytes induced to mature in vivo using gonadotrophin treatment. METHODS: Mouse oocytes were matured in vitro using both an established optimized system and in the absence of amino acids to produce a suboptimal condition for maturation. Oocytes induced to mature in vivo with gonadotrophins constituted the control group. All metaphase II oocytes were fertilized in vitro and transferred at the 2-cell stage to the oviducts of pseudo-pregnant foster mothers for development to term. Offspring were subjected to a wide variety of physiological and behavioral tests for the first year of life and natural lifespan determined. RESULTS: There was no difference among the groups in lifespan or in most of the physiological and behavioral analyses. However, the pulse rate and cardiac output were slightly, but significantly, reduced in the optimized in vitro matured group compared with the in vivo matured group (P = 0.0119 and P = 0.0197, respectively). Surprisingly, these decreases were largely abrogated in the in vitro group matured without amino acids. CONCLUSIONS: Evidence presented here using a mouse model suggests that the in vitro maturation of oocytes has minimal effects on the long-term health of offspring. However, a finding of slight reductions in pulse rate and cardiac output may focus future clinical attention.