Applying Embryo Cryopreservation Technologies to the Production of Domestic and Black-Footed Cats
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
Reproduction in Domestic Animals
Special Issue: Canine and Feline Reproduction VII: Reproductive Biology and Medicine of Domestic and Exotic Carnivores. Proceedings of the 7th Quadrennial International Symposium on Canine and Feline Reproduction. Whistler, Canada. 26-29 July 2012.
Volume 47, Issue Supplement s6, pages 125–129, December 2012
How to Cite
Pope, C., Gómez, M., Galiguis, J. and Dresser, B. (2012), Applying Embryo Cryopreservation Technologies to the Production of Domestic and Black-Footed Cats. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 47: 125–129. doi: 10.1111/rda.12053
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2012
Our objectives were (i) compare in vitro development of early cleavage stage domestic cat embryos after cryopreservation by minimal volume vitrification vs a standard slow, controlled-rate method, (ii) determine viability of vitrified domestic cat embryos by oviductal transfer into synchronous recipients and (iii) evaluate in vivo survival of black-footed cat (BFC, Felis nigripes) embryos after intra- and inter-species transfer. In vitro-derived (IVM/IVF) cat embryos were used to evaluate in vitro development after controlled-rate cryopreservation vs vitrification vs controls. Blastocyst development was similar in both groups of cryopreserved embryos (22–26%), but it was lower (p < 0.05) than that of fresh embryos (50%). After embryo transfer, four of eight recipients of vitrified embryos established pregnancies – three of six (50%) and one of two (50%) that received embryos from in vivo- and in vitro-matured oocytes, respectively. Three male and two female kittens weighing from 51 to 124 g (mean = 88 g) were delivered on days 61–65 of gestation. In BFC, four intra-species embryo transfer procedures were carried out – two recipients received fresh day 2 embryos (n = 5, 8) and two recipients received embryos that had been cryopreserved on day 1 (n = 6) or 2 (n = 8). A 2–year-old recipient of cryopreserved embryos established pregnancy and delivered two live male kittens. Subsequently, five cryopreserved BFC embryos were transferred to a domestic cat recipient. On day 29, the recipient was determined to be pregnant and delivered naturally a live, healthy female BFC kitten on day 66. In summary, in vivo survival of vitrified domestic cat embryos was shown by the births of kittens after transfer into recipients. Also, we demonstrated that sperm and embryo cryopreservation could be combined with intra- and inter-species embryo transfer and integrated into the array of assisted reproductive techniques used successfully for propagation of a rare and vulnerable felid species, the black-footed cat.