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Viability of maternally heat-stressed mouse zygotes in vivo and in vitro

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ABSTRACT

Mammalian preimplantation embryos are susceptible to heat stress. This present study examined how maternal heat stress affects the development of mouse zygotes in vivo and in vitro. In Experiment 1, zygotes collected from female mice that were heat-stressed for 12 h on day 1 of pregnancy were cultured in vitro. Maternally heat-stressed zygotes developed normally to the two-cell stage, but the majority of embryos failed to develop into morulae or blastocysts. In Experiment 2, pregnant mice were heat-stressed on day 1 or from day 1 to day 3 of pregnancy. The number of living fetuses on day 14 of pregnancy was lower in heat-stressed mice than in non-stressed mice, but the difference was significant only in successively heat-stressed mice. These results demonstrate that maternally heat-stressed zygotes have reduced in vitro viability, but this phenomenon does not necessarily lead to embryo loss in the maternal environment.
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Keywords: maternal heat stress; mouse embryo viability; postimplantation; preimplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba-shi, Japan

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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