In vitro production of bovine embryos using Sigma antioxidant supplement®, α-tocopherol and L-ascorbic acid
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This study tested the effect of Sigma antioxidant supplement®, α-tocopherol (vitamin E) and L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the culture medium of bovine embryos. In experiment 1, in vitro produced bovine zygotes were cultured in Human Tubal Fluid (HTF): Eagle’s Basic Medium (BME) with: Group 1 – 50 µm vitamin C; Group 2 – 200 µm vitamin E; Group 3 – 25 µm vitamin C and 100 µm vitamin E; Group 4 – 1 µl/ml Sigma antioxidant supplement®; and the Control group – HTF:BME only. In experiment 2, embryos were cultured in high or low oxygen tension with HTF:BME + Sigma antioxidant supplement® or in HTF:BME alone (Control). The data were analyzed using ANOVA followed by Tukey’s test. The results of experiment 1 showed a negative effect (P < 0.05) of vitamin E on blastocyst production in Group 2 (19.7 ± 0.1%). This effect was reduced in Group 3 by the addition of vitamin C (26.1 ± 0.2%). The use of vitamin C alone (34.9 ± 0.3%) or the Sigma antioxidant supplement® (33.3 ± 0.7%) did not increase (P > 0.05) the number of blastocysts produced compared with the control group (30.1 ± 0.5%). During experiment 2, there was no effect (P > 0.05) from the culture medium or the O2 concentrations used, indicating that the reduction of the O2 concentration did not improve blastocyst production.