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Embryo Transfer

Embryo Transfer

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Ahmad Mohammed Gumel on Apr 18, 2010
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09/30/2010

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1AHAMD SARKI GUMEL
INTRODUCTION:
Reproduction is the backbone of animal production. The possibility of enhancing reproductive potentials through the use of certain biotechnological techniques has recently been explored bydifferent researchers(2008; George and Doe, 1989; Habsah, 2005; Wan Khadijah, 2008).Cryopreservation is another important development facilitating conservation of valuable animalgenetic, this captured the attention of many researchers(Kaneko, Yamamura et al., 2006; WanKhadijah, 2008). Several proteins such as OTP-1, bTP-1 and Interferon secreted by thedeveloping embryo have been identified and purified, these substances were used as fertility promoters and markers of conception in different animal and human researchactivities(Srivistava A.K, 2005).It is now possible to reduce the generation interval by producing more number of offspring froma female within a short period of time using IVF and embryo transfer technology. Recentdevelopment in Öocytes maturation and invitro fertilization in farm animals have given a newdimension to animal production. Using such techniques it is possible to produce a large number of embryos in the laboratory. Such embryos have a large demand in upstream areas of researchin embryo biotechnology. Brackett et al.(1982) produced the first IVF calf using ovulatedÖocytes, while Lu et al. (1987) reported birth of calf from total in vitro procedures ( in vitromaturation, fertilization development and culture of embryos). These reports generatedworldwide interest in science of invitro fertilization in livestock.Embryo Transfer (ET) is one of the techniques of reproductive biotechnology where embryoscollected from super-ovulated donor females are transferred to the recipients, which serve asfoster mother for their development throughout the remainder gestation period. First successfulembryo transfer was done in rabbit by W. Heape in 1890, but the systematic research on embryotransfer started following the birth of the first ET calf out of frozen embryo by Wilmut andRowson in 1973.This technique of embryo transfer made it possible to increase the influence of geneticallysuperior females; it also allow multiplication of the desired germ plasm at a faster rate,contributing to a higher genetic gain. The males produced through embryo transfer out of superior donors may be used as elite sires on artificial insemination network for improvement of livestock and the females would be the future bull mother(Srivistava A.K, 2005).There are many reasons a producer might select embryo transfer for his/her particular operation.The first reason would probably be the potential for genetic improvement in the herd. Throughartificial insemination, superior male genetics can be spread across a herd; with embryo transfer,superior female genetics can now be spread across a specific herd or even many herds.Superovulation and embryo transfer allows one particular female to produce many offspring in agiven year and many more over her reproductive lifetime. Each of these offspring would potentially carry the superior traits of the mother, such as increased weight gain, improvedcarcass merit, or even increased milk production. Embryo transfer may also eliminate the stressof parturition on a desirable animal, thereby increasing her reproductive life span. Diseasecontrol, salvage of reproductive function, and potential twinning are a few of the other benefitsof embryo transfer. Finally, the impact embryo transfer has had and will have on the researchenvironment cannot be overlooked.
 
2
 AHAMD SARKI GUMEL
Techniques such as gene insertion, embryo splitting, and pronuclear DNA injections would not be as feasible without embryo transfer technology.Hence among the
Advantages
of Embryo
t
r
ans
e
r
includes:1.
 
Leads to higher increase in number of animals than normal reproductive is allowed tooccur 2.
 
Potential in conservation of germ plasm with production of superior animals3.
 
Disease control4.
 
Salving the reproductive problems5.
 
Increased marketing opportunity of both the offspring and the embryo6.
 
Embryos can be stored to a longer period, until when the reproduction is required.Among the
disadvantages
of Embryo
t
r
ans
e
r
include:1.
 
Increased expenses and higher break-even costs for calves.2.
 
It required technical expertise, as such things like hormone manipulation and Estrusdetection need to be carefully monitored for the success of the process3.
 
It required the Synchronization of recipient with donor.4.
 
Specialized equipment and trained personnel.5.
 
More expensive than traditional reproductive methods.Cryopreservation is freezing tissue or cells in order to preserve it for the future. Embryo preservation is a delicate and complex process involving multiple steps. Through the process of invitro fertilisation, the egg and the sperm, unite under controlled conditions within a fertilitylaboratory. This embryo is then frozen to extremely cold temperatures, using liquid nitrogen at atemperature of about -196
o
C below zero, under such extreme conditions virtually all biological processes cease, include the process of cell death. Under these specialised conditions theembryos can be frozen by direct plonging process or by vitrification process (an ultra-rapid IVFembryo freezing instead of the traditional slow freezing process), and can remain dormant untilsuch time when pregnancy is desired. Through a slow thawing process of the embryos arerevived and the biological processes are resumed.Vitrification in IVF can allow freezing of spare embryos with better post-thaw survival rates andhigher pregnancy and live birth rates from frozen embryo transfer cycles.
Advantage
of Embryo Cryopr
ese
r
vati
o
n
 
In vitrification process has many primary advantages and benefits, such as no ice crystalformationthrough increased speed of temperature conduction,which provides a significantincrease in cooling rates. Thispermits the use of less concentrated cryoprotectant agentsso thatthe toxic effect is decreased. Additionally, chillinginjuries are considerably reducedEmbryo freezing provides the option to delay pregnancy without risking further damage to theegg. Advanced reproductive age can cause the ovaries to age and deteriorate with time.Cryopreservation of embryos in reproductive animals enables utilization of young healthy eggs,fertilize them and keep them preserved until they are ready for a reproduction cycle. This optionis also most especially when there are disease out breaks, one can cryopreserve stocks of 
 
3
 AHAMD SARKI GUMEL
improve animals in case of disease havoc. It provides an efficient means of importing or exporting embryos, sperms or oocytes.
D
isadvantages
of Embryo cryopr
ese
r
vati
o
n
 
Embryo freezing is also associated with risks which need to be considered carefully. Since this process is so specialised, very little data is available regarding the long term effects of this procedure most especially in higher mammals like humans. The process of cryopreservation is sodelicate and complex that the fragile embryo may not survive the entire process. The risk of birthdefects and genetic abnormalities has also been raised in humans; clinical data however showsno such adverse effect as a result of this procedure. This highly controversial issue raises someethical and moral concerns as well. These questions as well as cost need to be weighed carefully.Cryopreservation is an expensive procedure, which is conducted in only few specialisedIVFcentres.
Obj
e
c
tive
of 
the
 
stud
y:
Among the objective of this practical study is that :
y
 
To be able to learn the techniques involve in mouse embryo transfer and cryopreservation by vitrification.
y
 
To apply what we have learnt in theory into the real hands-on bench work.
y
 
Be able to observe the process involve critically and present a suggestion based on our observation on optimization process that could possibly be used to improve the process
L
ite
r
atu
r
e
r
eview
:
In 1972 preimplantation mammalian embryos were first successfully cryopreserved. The methodwas very time consuming. Slow cooling was used (1 degree/min or less) to about -80 degreesCentigrade. Then the embryos were placed in liquid nitrogen. The embryos also needed to bethawed slowly and a cryoprotectant added and removed in many gradual steps. This was a lot of work. The first reported pregnancy in humans from frozen embryos was in 1983. Most of theresearch has been done on mouse embryos before.As early as 1985, ice-free cryopreservation of mouse embryos at -196
o
C by vitrification wasreported in an attempted alternative approach to cryostorage. Since then, vitrification techniqueshave entered more and more the mainstream of animal reproduction as an alternativecryopreservation method to traditional slow-cooling/rapid-thaw protocols(Juergen L, 2002).With its simplicity and effectiveness the radical strategy of vitrification results in the totalelimination of ice crystal formation, both within the cells being vitrified (intracellular) and in thesurrounding solution (extracellular). The protocols for vitrification are very simple. They allowcells and tissue to be placed directly into the cryoprotectant and then plunged directly into liquidnitrogen(Juergen L, 2002).Many studies have been undertaken to reduce the time of the freezing procedure and to try toeliminate the cost of expensive, programmable freezing equipment. One way to avoid icecrystallization damage is through the use of vitrification protocols. These cryopreservation methods present an alternative to conventionalfreezing with equilibration.

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