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Effect of growth factors on oocyte maturation and allocations of inner cell mass and trophectoderm cells of cloned bovine embryos

  • Sezen Arat (a1), Arzu Tas Caputcu (a2), Mesut Cevik (a3), Tolga Akkoc (a2), Gaye Cetinkaya (a2) and Haydar Bagis (a4)...


This study was conducted to determine the additive effects of exogenous growth factors during in vitro oocyte maturation (IVM) and the sequential culture of nuclear transfer (NT) embryos. Oocyte maturation and culture of reconstructed embryos derived from bovine granulosa cells were performed in culture medium supplemented with either epidermal growth factor (EGF) alone or a combination of EGF with insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I). The maturation rates of oocytes matured in the presence of EGF or the EGF + IGF-I combination were significantly higher than those of oocytes matured in the presence of only fetal calf serum (FCS) (P < 0.05). The developing NT embryos showed no significant differences in fusion, cleavage or blastocyst rates among the culture groups (P > 0.05). IGF-I alone or in combination with EGF in sequential embryo culture medium significantly increased the ratio of inner cell mass (ICM) to total blastocyst cells (P < 0.05). Our results showed that the addition of growth factors to IVM and sequential culture media of cloned bovine embryos increased the ICM without changing the total cell number. These unknown and uncontrolled effects of growth factors can alter the allocation of ICM and trophectoderm cells (TE) in NT embryos. A decrease in TE cell numbers could be a reason for developmental abnormalities in embryos in the cloning system.


Corresponding author

All correspondence to: Sezen Arat. Namik Kemal University , Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Tekirdag, Turkey. Tel: +90 282 250 22 90. Fax: +90 282 250 99 29. E-mail:


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