Scientific reports

Improved Oocyte Isolation and Embryonic Development of Outbred Deer Mice.

PMID 26184014


In this study, we improved the protocol for isolating cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) from the outbred deer mice by using only one hormone (instead of the widely used combination of two hormones) with reduced dose. Moreover, we identified that significantly more metaphase II (MII) oocytes could be obtained by supplementing epidermal growth factor (EGF) and leukemia inhibition factor (LIF) into the previously established medium for in vitro maturation (IVM) of the COCs. Furthermore, we overcame the major challenge of two-cell block during embryonic development of deer mice after either in vitro fertilization (IVF) or parthenogenetic activation (PA) of the MII oocytes, by culturing the two-cell stage embryos on the feeder layer of inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) in the medium of mouse embryonic stem cells. Collectively, this work represents a major step forward in using deer mice as an outbred animal model for biomedical research on reproduction and early embryonic development.