Embryo vitrification in rabbits: Consequences for progeny growth

Autores UPV
Revista Theriogenology


The objective of this research is to examine if there are any effects of the rederivation procedures on rabbit growth pattern and on weight of different organ in adults. For this purpose, three experiments were conducted on two different groups of animals (control group and vitrified¿transferred group) to evaluate the possible effect of embryo manipulation (vitrification and transfer procedures) on future growth traits. The first experiment studies body weight from 1 to 9 weeks of age from the two groups. The second experiment describes the growth curve of progeny from experimental groups and analyzes their Gompertz curve parameters, including the estimation of adult body weight. The third experiment has been developed to study if there are any differences in different organ weight in adult males from the two experimental groups. In general, the results indicate that rederivation procedures had effect on the phenotypic expression of growth traits. The results showed that rabbit produced by vitrification and embryo transfer had higher body weight in the first four weeks of age than control progeny. Results from body weight (a parameter) and b parameter estimated by fitting the Gompertz growth curve did not show any difference between experimental groups. However, differences related with growth velocity (k parameter of the Gompertz curve) were observed among them, showing that the control group had higher growth velocity than the vitrified¿transferred group. In addition, we found that liver weight at 40th week of age exhibits significant differences between the experimental groups. The liver weight was higher in the control males than in the VF males. Although the present results indicate that vitrification and transfer procedures might affect some traits related with growth in rabbits, further research is needed to assess the mechanisms involved in the appearance of these phenotypes and if these phenotypes could be transferred to the future progeny.