Effect of Mechanical Micro-Vibrations on The Efficiency of Leopard Inter-Species Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Embryology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Centre, Royan Institute for Reproductive Biomedicine, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Theriogenology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Animal Core Facility, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotechnology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Animal Biotechnology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotechnology, ACECR, Isfahan, Iran


Objective: Scarcity of oocytes for assisted reproduction in endangered species can be bypassed by interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT). In Felids, domestic cat (Felis catus) oocytes can serve as recipients for the nucleus of the endangered Persian leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor). However, in vitro oocyte maturation is still suboptimal in cats, whereas it has been reported to benefit from micro-vibration in non-felid species. Therefore, the
present study is aimed to determine whether micro-vibration, applied during in vitro maturation (IVM), improves the embryogenic potential of cat oocytes transplanted with fibroblast nuclei of the Persian leopard.
Materials and Methods: In the experimental study, cat cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were randomly assigned
to the treatment group (micro-vibration) or control group (static culture). Resultant metaphase II (MII) oocytes were enucleated and reconstructed with nucleus transplants from leopard fibroblasts, followed by artificial oocyte activation and embryo culture under the same condition (static) for 7 days.
Results: While cumulus cell expansion and oocyte maturation profited from micro-vibration (P<0.05), the quantity and
quality of blastocysts were significantly lower in micro-vibration than in the control group (P<0.05). The total number of blastocyst cells tended to be lower in the micro-vibration than in the control group (P=0.075). Nevertheless, the proportion of ICM and TE cells did not differ between the micro-vibration and control groups (P>0.05).
Conclusion: The present study indicated that micro-vibration at a frequency of 44 Hz for 5 secs per hour enhanced nuclear maturation and cumulus cell expansion of cat oocytes. However, exposure to micro-vibration during IVM impaired the survival rate of reconstructed oocytes during the iSCNT process and their developmental competence toward the blastocyst stage.


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