Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 44, Number 1, January-February 2004
Page(s) 65 - 78
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 44 (2004) 65-78
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2004017

Development of swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) embryos after parthenogenetic activation and nuclear transfer using serum fed or starved fetal fibroblasts

Jumnian Saikhuna, Narisorn Kitiyananta, Chanchai Songtaveesinb, Kanok Pavasuthipaisita, c and Yindee Kitiyananta, c

a  Institute of Science and Technology for Research and Development, Mahidol University, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand
b  Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
c  Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Rama VI Road, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

(Received 15 May 2003; accepted 18 November 2003)

Abstract - The knowledge of oocyte activation and somatic cell nuclear transfer in the swamp buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is extremely rare. The objectives of this study were the following: (1) to investigate the various activation treatments on the parthenogenetic development of buffalo oocytes, (2) to examine the events of nuclear remodeling and in the in vitro development of cloned buffalo embryos reconstructed with serum fed or starved fetal fibroblats, and (3) to investigate the in vivo development of cloned embryos derived from serum fed or starved cells after transfer into the recipients. The rates of cleavage and blastocyst development were found to be significantly higher (P < 0.05) when the oocytes were activated by the combination treatment of calcium ionophore (A23187) or ethanol followed by 6-DMAP than those activated by electrical pulses and 6-DMAP or other single treatments. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that the percentage in the G0/G1 phase in serum starved cells was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than that in serum fed cells (88.8 ± 6.2 vs. 68.2 ± 2.6). At 1 h post fusion (hpf), most of the transferred nuclei (71%) from serum fed cells did not change in size, and the nuclear envelope remained intact, whereas 29% underwent NEBD and PCC. When serum starved cells were used, 83% of the transferred nuclei underwent NEBD and PCC whereas 17% remained intact. The nuclear swelling and pronucleus (PN) formation were observed at 2-4 and 12 h post activation (hpa), respectively. The remodeled nuclei underwent mitotic division and developed to the 2-cell stage within 18-24 hpa. Fifty-five percent of oocytes reconstructed with serum fed cells were 2PN and 45% were 1PN, whereas 79% of the embryos reconstructed from starved cells were 1PN and 21% were 2PN. The percentage of blastocyst development of the embryos derived from starved cells was higher than that from the serum fed cells (35% vs. 21%, P < 0.05). Pregnancy was detected after the transfer of cloned blastocysts into the recipients but no recipients supported the development to term. The results of this work can be used to establish effective activation protocols for buffalo oocytes which can be used during nuclear transfer experiments.

Key words: buffalo / oocyte activation / nuclear transfer / nuclear remodeling / somatic cell

Corresponding author: Yindee Kitiyanant

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2004