The present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of passive immunoneutralization of endogenous inhibin on ovulation rate and embryo development in vivo and in vitro to establish a new alternative superovulation method in the adult rat. Female adult rats of Wistar strain were superovulated with a single injection of inhibin antiserum (inhibin-AS; 100 or 400 μl) or an injection of 20 IU eCG followed by an injection of 10 IU hCG. Untreated animals served as controls. Embryos were collected from oviducts or uteri on Days 1–5 of pregnancy, and the number of embryos and implantation sites were observed. On Day 1 of pregnancy, the two-cell-stage embryos were cultured and embryos from the 100-μl inhibin-AS group and the control group were transferred to recipient females to determine developmental competence. There were no significant differences between groups in fertilization rate. The numbers of normal embryos in the inhibin-AS-treated groups were significantly higher than the control and the eCG-hCG-treated groups throughout Days 1–4 of pregnancy. The number of implantation sites observed on Day 5 of pregnancy in the inhibin-AS-treated groups was significantly higher than both the control and the eCG-hCG-treated groups. Furthermore, the rate of blastocyst development in vitro in the inhibin-AS-treated groups and posttransfer viability in the 100-μl-inhibin-AS group were comparable with those of the control group. These results indicate that immunoneutralization of endogenous inhibin is a new practical alternative for induction of superovulation as a substitution for eCG-hCG method in the adult rat.
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