Leucemia inhibitory factor; investigating the time-dependent effect on viability of vitrified bovine embryos
Leucemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is involved in various reproductive processes, including sperm development, regulation of ovulation, as well as blastocyst formation, hatching and implantation in embryos. Moreover, LIF has also been shown significantly to enhance the blastocyst formation rates of bovine embryos, a finding that remains controversial. Our purpose was to investigate time-dependent effect of LIF on bovine embryo culture, especially in terms of addition timing. Presumptive zygotes were cultured in five different groups. In this study, 100 ng/ml LIF was added to the culture medium were as follows; control: SOF alone, group A: at day 0 (fertilization day), group B: at day 4 post-insemination (p.i.), group C: at day 4 to 7 (p.i. before vitrification) and group D: at day 8 (p.i. after thawing). Addition of LIF to the culture medium at day 4 significantly increased the percentage of blastocyst rate when compared day 0, day 4 at 6/7 and control group (41.8% versus 24.3%, 19.7%, 34.6%). In conclusion, the addition of LIF only on day 4 (p.i.) to the culture medium was found to be beneficial for bovine embryonic development based on several measures, including blastocysts rate, re-expansion rate and cellular cryotolerance after vitrification.