Immunization Against Endogenous Inhibin Increases Normal Oocyte/Embryo Production in Adult Mice

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The objectives of the present study were to induce super-ovulation in adult mice by immunoneutralization of endogenous inhibin and to investigate embryo development in vivo and in vitro. Adult female mice of the ddY strain at 3 mo of age were superovulated with a single ip injection of inhibin antiserum (inhibin-AS; 50, 100, or 200 μL) at 12:00 h on metestrus of the 4-d estrous cycle. The control group was treated with 100 μL normal goat serum (control serum). Five mice were sacrificed every 6 h and blood samples were collected for hormonal assay. Individual female mice were bred in the afternoon of proestrus with individual fertile males. Embryos were collected at 08.00 h on d 2 post-coitus and cultured in KSOM solution. Treatment with inhibin-AS significantly increased the concentrations of plasma FSH. Furthermore, there was a significant elevation in plasma concentrations of estradiol-17β and progesterone in the inhibin-immunized groups in comparison with controls. The superovulated oocytes that were fertilized normally in vivo were able to develop normally to blastocysts in vitro. The number of oocytes and blastocysts developed in animals treated with inhibin-AS was significantly higher than that for mice treated with control serum. Moreover, the rate of fertilization and the rate of blastocyst development were similar in inhibin-AS treated and control groups. These results indicate that immunoneutralization of endogenous inhibin induces superovulation in adult mice without additional treatment with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). In addition, the superovulated oocytes obtained by administration of inhibin-AS have normal embryonic developmental competence.

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