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Overweight negatively affects outcome of superovulation treatment in female mice

  • Dušan Fabian (a1), Janka Babeľová (a2), Štefan Čikoš (a2) and Zuzana Šefčíková (a2)


Superovulatory response is characterized by a high degree of variability and unpredictability. The aim of the present experimental study was to examine whether the amount of maternal body fat can influence the efficiency of ovarian stimulation with gonadotropins. Female mice of two body condition types, normal and obese, produced in a standardized two-generation model, were subjected to ovarian stimulation using eCG and hCG followed by natural mating. Produced ova and embryos were recovered on day 1 and day 4 of pregnancy respectively, and several quantitative, qualitative and developmental parameters were evaluated in them. The overall response of mouse females with normal and elevated amounts of body fat to superovulation was similar: They produced almost the same numbers of ova and embryos on average. Conversely, a higher number of immature oocytes, non-fertilized mature oocytes and lower-stage zygotes were collected from fat females. In both groups, the majority of fertilized oocytes was able to cleave and reach the higher stages of development. However, in the group of fat mice, a lower number of blastocysts was collected, and these blastocysts showed increased incidence of apoptotic cell death. In conclusion, although the response of normal and fat mice to superovulatory treatment was similar, the quality and developmental capacities of produced ova were lower in the group of fat donors.


Corresponding author

All correspondence to: Dušan Fabian. Institute of Animal Physiology, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Šoltésovej 4/6, 04001 Košice, Slovakia. Tel: +421 55 727 6274. E-mail:


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