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Nutritional Strategies to Promote Bovine Oocyte Quality for In Vitro Embryo Production: Do They Really Work?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Miguel Velazquez



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The ability of bovine oocytes to reach the blastocyst stage (i.e., embryo with around 150 cells in cattle) in vitro can be affected by technical (e.g., culture medium used) and physiological factors in oocyte donors (e.g., age, breed). As such, the nutritional status of oocyte donors plays a significant role in the efficiency of in vitro embryo production (IVEP), and several nutritional strategies have been investigated in cattle subjected to ovum pick-up (OPU). However, there is no clear consensus on the reliability of nutritional schemes to improve IVEP in cattle. Available evidence suggests that a moderate body condition score (i.e., 3 in a 1–5 scale) in cattle is compatible with a metabolic microenvironment in ovarian follicles that will promote embryo formation in vitro. The usefulness of fatty acid and micronutrient supplementation to improve IVEP in cattle is debatable with the current information available. Overall, the supply of maintenance nutritional requirements according to developmental and productive stage seems to be enough to provide bovine oocyte donors with a good chance of producing embryos in vitro. Future nutrition research in cattle using OPU-IVEP models needs to consider animal well-being aspects (i.e., stress caused by handling and sampling), which could affect the results.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Velazquez MA

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Veterinary Sciences

Year: 2023

Volume: 10

Issue: 10

Online publication date: 04/10/2023

Acceptance date: 29/09/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2306-7381


DOI: 10.3390/vetsci10100604