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Open Access Factors Affecting Oogenesis in the South African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)

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Xenopus laevis, commonly known as the South African Clawed frog, is a hardy adaptable species that is relatively easy to maintain as a laboratory animal. Gametogenesis in wild Xenopus laevis is continuous and under ideal conditions, reproduction can occur year round. This unique aspect of amphibian reproduction offers an advantage over mammalian model systems: the eggs and oocytes collected from laboratory maintained Xenopus laevis provide an abundant and readily obtainable supply of material for cellular and biological research. However, many investigators report that laboratory Xenopus laevis go through periods of unexplained inefficient or complete failure of oocyte production or the production of poor quality oocytes. This results in experimental delays, inability to reproduce data, and ultimately the use of more animals. There is a lack of evidenced based information regarding the housing conditions that are necessary to optimize the health and fecundity of this species in captivity, but studies of wild Xenopus laevis have shown that temperature, age of the female, and nutrition are of key importance. The objective of this report is to review oogenesis with a special emphasis on these factors as they pertain to laboratory Xenopus laevis maintained for the purpose of providing a steady supply of eggs and oocytes. Harvesting methods and other experimental techniques that affect the quality of eggs and oocytes are also discussed.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Comparative Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, RAF 1, Quad 7, Bldg 330, Stanford, California 94305-5410

Publication date: August 1, 2002

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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