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Parthenotes are characterized by poor in vitro developmental potential either due to the ploidy status or the absence of paternal factors. In the present study, we demonstrate the beneficial role of sperm-derived factors (SDF) on the in vitro development of mouse parthenotes. Mature (MII) oocytes collected from superovulated Swiss albino mice were activated using strontium chloride (SrCl2) in the presence or absence of various concentrations of SDF in M16 medium. The presence of SDF in activation medium did not have any significant influence on the activation rate. However, a significant increase in the developmental potential of the embryos and increased blastocyst rate (P < 0.01) was observed at 50 µg/ml concentration. Furthermore, the activated oocytes from this group exhibited early cleavage and cortical distribution of cortical granules that was similar to that of normally fertilized zygotes. Culturing 2-cell stage parthenotes in the presence of SDF significantly improved the developmental potential (P < 0.05) indicating that they also play a significant role in embryo development. In conclusion, artificial activation of oocytes with SDF can improve the developmental potential of parthenotes in vitro.
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