Direct effects of varying doses of oestradiol on early embryonic development in in vitro culture of rat's two-cell embryos

Terry Y.Y. Tong, Victor H.H. Goh, Chee Fei Tain, Helen Mok, Shirley Tsang, S. K. Adiga

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Hyperstimulation in the rat using pregnant mares' serum gonadotrophin (PMSG) has been known to cause death in pre-implantation embryos, as well as enhancement of oestradiol production. This study examines the effect of oestradiol, in levels that are found in hyperstimulated pregnant rats, on pre-implantation embryonic development. Using a simplified in vitro system, 2-cell embryos retrieved from rats on the 2nd day of pregnancy were cultured in rat two-cell embryo culture medium (R2ECM) containing pharmacological doses of oestradiol for 96 h and scored daily in the morning. Three ng·mL- 1 oestradiol reduced the incidence of >8-cell embryos to morulae on the 5th day and blastocysts on the 6th day of development. Most embryos were retarded at the lower cell stages on the 5th day and degenerated by the 6th day. None of the blastocysts expanded on the last day of culture. Fifteen ng·mL-1 oestradiol accelerated embryo development on the 3rd day but retarded development on the 4th day, and increased the incidence of degenerated embryos by the 5th and 6th day of development. These results suggest that the elevated oestradiol may constitute a mechanism by which PMSG induces death in pre-implantation rat embryos, possibly via a direct action on the embryos.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-456
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2000


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Physiology (medical)

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