Influence of zona pellucida thickness on fertilization, embryo implantation and birth

Autores UPV
Revista Animal Reproduction Science


Defective sperm-zona pellucida binding and penetration are the main causes of IVF failure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of zona pellucida thickness in fertilization failure and test the influence of zona pellucida thickness on implantation and birth in rabbits. Embryos and oocytes were collected from 72 females on Day 2 post-insemination. A total of 559 normal embryos were recovered; 402 embryos were transferred by laparoscopy and 157 embryos were used to measure the zona pellucida thickness using the ImageJ program. Laparoscopies were also performed on all does at Day 12 of gestation to record the number of implanted embryos. Litter size at birth was recorded. The mean zona pellucida thickness of the 157 embryos and of the 64 control group oocytes (18.3 ± 0.2 and 18.5 ± 0.3 ¿m, respectively) was significantly less than the zona pellucida thickness of the 74 failed fertilization oocytes (19.2 ± 0.3 ¿m). The probabilities of the regression coefficient being positive were 0.72 and 0.74 for implantation and birth, respectively, and the subsequent means of the coefficient were 2.92 and 0.03 for implantation and birth, respectively. In conclusion, the zona pellucida thickness has an important influence on in vivo fertilization and implantation processes, but not on birth. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.