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Insulin–transferrin–selenium (ITS) improves maturation of porcine oocytes in vitro

  • Junhe Hu (a1) (a2), Xiaoling Ma (a1), Jian Chang Bao (a1), Wei Li (a1), De Cheng (a1), Zhimin Gao (a1), Anmin Lei (a1), Chunrong Yang (a1) and Huayan Wang (a3) (a1)...


The objective of this study was to determine if insulin–transferrin–selenium (ITS) promoted a nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of porcine oocytes that better supports subsequent embryonic development. The rate of oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) in an experimental group treated with hormones for 42 h was significantly increased compared with that in a control group without hormone treatment (47.8% vs. 11.7%, respectively, p < 0.05). Following reduction of the hormone treatment period from 42 h to 21 h, which included both the first 21 h period of hormones treatment (45.4%) and the second 21 h period of hormone treatment (44.8%), the rate of oocyte IVM was still higher than that of the control group (p < 0.05). To improve porcine oocyte nuclear maturation, 1% ITS was added to medium supplemented with hormones. The rate of nuclear maturation in the ITS-treated group was significantly higher than in the ITS-untreated group (78.6% vs. 54.4%, respectively, p < 0.05). ITS treatment also significantly reduced the per cent of oocytes with type I and type III cortical granule (CG) distribution, respectively, and significantly increased the per cent of oocytes with type II CG distribution (85.3%). These observations indicated that the synchronization rates of nuclear and ooplasmic maturation reached 67.04% (78.56 × 85.33%). In conclusion, the combination of modified Tissue Culture Medium-199 (mM199) + 10 ng/ml epidermal growth factor (EGF) + 10 IU/ml pregnant mare serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) + 10 IU/ml human chorion gonadotrophin (hCG) + 2.5 IU/ml follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) + 1% ITS is suitable for culturing porcine oocytes in vitro, and effectively enhances porcine oocyte nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation.


Corresponding author

All correspondence to: Huayan Wang, Shaanxi Center for Stem Cell Engineering and Technology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China. Tel: +86 029 87080069. Fax: +86 029 87080068. e-mail:


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