Rescue and Maturation in Vitro of Follicular Oocytes Collected from Nondomestic Felid Species
Biology of Reproduction
The potential for rescuing immature oocytes from the ovaries of females of rare felid species which die or undergo medical ovariohysterectomy was evaluated. Ovaries were recovered from 13 species representing 35 individuals in good-to-poor health. Although the majority of females were 10 yr of age or older and in fair-to-poor health, a total of 846 oocytes were recovered of which 608 (71.9%) were classified as fair-to-excellent quality. One hundred of these oocytes were used for initial maturation classification and as parthogenetic controls. Overall, of the 508 fair-to-excellent quality oocytes placed in culture, 164 (32.3%) matured to metaphase II in vitro. For species in which 3 or more individuals yielded oocytes, mean oocyte maturation rates were as follows: 36.2%, tiger; 27.9% leopard; and 8.3%, cheetah. In vitro insemination of oocytes resulted in fertilization (2 polar bodies, 2 pronuclei, or cleavage) rates of 9.1% to 28.6% (leopard) using homologous fresh spermatozoa and 4.0% (lion) to 40.0% (puma) using homologous frozen-thawed spermatozoa. Inseminations using heterologous (domestic cat) spermatozoa also resulted in fertilized oocytes in the tiger, leopard, snow leopard, puma, serval, and Geoffroy's cat (range in fertilization rate, 5.0% for leopard to 46.2% for puma). Cleaved embryos resulted from the insemination of leopard oocytes with homologous sperm (n = 1 embryo) and puma oocytes with domestic cat sperm (n = 3 embryos). These results demonstrate that immature ovarian oocytes from rare felid species can be stimulated to mature in vitro despite an excision-to-culture interval as long as 36 h.
Johnston, L. A.; A. M. Donoghue; Stephen J. O'Brien; and David E. Wildt. 1996. "Rescue and Maturation in Vitro of Follicular Oocytes Collected from Nondomestic Felid Species." Biology of Reproduction 45, (6): 898-906. http://nsuworks.nova.edu/cnso_bio_facarticles/324