Advances in in vitro folliculogenesis in domestic ruminants
The in vitro follicle culture (IVFC) represents an outstanding tool to enhance our understanding of the control of folliculogenesis and to allow the future use of a large number of immature oocytes enclosed in preantral follicles (PFs) in assisted reproductive techniques in humans as well as in others mammalian species including the ruminants. So far, the best results of IVFC were reported from mice with the production of live offspring from primordial follicles cultured in vitro. Live birth has been obtained after the in vitro culture of bovine early antral follicles. However, in other ruminant species, these results have been limited to the production of a variable number of mature oocytes and low percentages of embryos after in vitro culture of goat, buffalo and sheep isolated secondary preantral follicles. The present review presents and discusses the main findings, limitations, and prospects of in vitro folliculogenesis in ruminants focusing on bovine, caprine, and ovine species.
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