Effects of age and season on the developmental capacity of oocytes from unstimulated and FSH-stimulated rhesus monkeys were examined. Immature cumulus-oocyte complexes were matured in vitro in modified CMRL-1066 medium containing 20% bovine calf serum and subjected to in vitro fertilization followed by embryo culture. After fertilization, ova from unstimulated prepubertal monkeys displayed lower development to morula (4%) than those from unstimulated adult females (18% in breeding season and 22% in nonbreeding season). No developmental difference was found between ova from unstimulated adult monkeys in breeding and nonbreeding seasons. However, ova from FSH-primed prepubertal monkeys displayed greater development to blastocyst stage (54%) than those from adult monkeys in the breeding season (16%) and nonbreeding season (0%); and ova from FSH-primed adult females in the breeding season had significantly (P < 0.05) greater developmental competence than those obtained in the nonbreeding season (≥morula stage, 54% vs. 3%; blastocyst stage, 16% vs. 0%). These data indicate that 1) rhesus monkey oocytes acquire developmental competence in a donor age-dependent manner, and 2) animal age and breeding season modulate the effect of FSH on oocyte developmental competence in the rhesus monkey.
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