Mares

OPU / ICSI

Ovum Pick Up (OPU) and Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) are two different procedures that are inextricably linked. One always follows the other.

OPU is the procedure in which ovarian follicles are punctured and drained to collect eggs. ICSI is the procedure in which a single sperm is injected into a mature oocyte.

These are modern techniques that make it possible, among other things, to breed foals from sub-fertile mares and stallions or from recently deceased mares or stallions.

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In detail

Oocytes can be collected from living mares by OPU, in which the oocytes are aspirated transvaginally from the follicles. Post mortem, oocytes can also be obtained by scraping the follicles. After maturation, the oocytes can be fertilized. This can be done in vivo (by oocyte transfer in which a mature oocyte is transferred into the oviduct of an inseminated carrier mare) or in vitro.

Since conventional invitro fertilization (IVF) is not successful in the horse, ICSI is used. Only a very small amount of sperm is needed for each oocyte collection and fertilization.

All this makes OPU-ICSI extremely suitable when the sperm is very limited in availability or, because of its low fertility, not usable for artificial insemination.

After ICSI, the fertilized oocytes can be grown in vitro into blastocysts, after which they can be transplanted to the uterus of a recipient mare. The blastocysts can also be frozen, therefore it is possible to implant or export and market the embryos at a time of your choice.

BENEFITS

  • Apply own carrier mare and better planning of embryo transfer.
  • Creation of an embryo bank.
  • Export and import of the frozen embryos.
  • Production can be done outside the breeding season.
  • Gender can be determined before freezing the embryos.
  • Embryos are always frozen and thawed at the ideal time.

TRANSFER ICSI EMBRYOS

If desired, the ICSI embryos can be thawed and transferred to a carrier mare. Here it is possible that you yourself provide a mare that can serve to carry the embryo forward. The gestation results we achieve after thawing and transferring ICSI embryos are 75% gestation at 14 days.

In detail

Oocytes can be collected from living mares by OPU, in which the oocytes are aspirated transvaginally from the follicles. Post mortem, oocytes can also be obtained by scraping the follicles. After maturation, the oocytes can be fertilized. This can be done in vivo (by oocyte transfer in which a mature oocyte is transferred into the oviduct of an inseminated carrier mare) or in vitro.

Since conventional invitro fertilization (IVF) is not successful in the horse, ICSI is used. Only a very small amount of sperm is needed for each oocyte collection and fertilization.

All this makes OPU-ICSI extremely suitable when the sperm is very limited in availability or, because of its low fertility, not usable for artificial insemination.

After ICSI, the fertilized oocytes can be grown in vitro into blastocysts, after which they can be transplanted to the uterus of a recipient mare. The blastocysts can also be frozen, therefore it is possible to implant or export and market the embryos at a time of your choice.

BENEFITS

  • Apply own carrier mare and better planning of embryo transfer.
  • Creation of an embryo bank.
  • Export and import of the frozen embryos.
  • Production can be done outside the breeding season.
  • Gender can be determined before freezing the embryos.
  • Embryos are always frozen and thawed at the ideal time.

TRANSFER ICSI EMBRYOS

If desired, the ICSI embryos can be thawed and transferred to a carrier mare. Here it is possible that you yourself provide a mare that can serve to carry the embryo forward. The gestation results we achieve after thawing and transferring ICSI embryos are 75% gestation at 14 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Good to know

We are a European recognized center for embryo production. This implies that every mare that comes to us for embryo production should be tested for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) and Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) every 90 days with negative results. When a mare is inseminated and/or flushed by us for embryo transfer we perform these tests. If the mare is not flushed by us, you must perform these tests yourself and submit the necessary lab results to us.

Collection of oocytes (OPU) is routinely performed on Monday or Tuesday.

The collected oocytes are then transferred to Avantea in Italy. Professor Galli and his team are a worldwide authority in performing ICSI. Through our close collaboration with Avantea, this allows us to achieve the highest results.

Before our veterinarians perform any procedures on your horse, you must have read and signed the health declaration and framework agreement below for approval.