Bone morphogenetic protein-4 (BMP-4) inhibits luteinization of granulosa cells during invitro growth (IVG) culture of bovine oocytes; however, oocytes derived from a 12 day IVG were less competent for development than invivo-grown oocytes. We herein investigated whether an extended IVG culture with BMP-4 improves oocyte growth and development to blastocysts after invitro fertilization. Oocyte-granulosa cell complexes (OGCs) were cultured for 14 or 16days with BMP-4 (10ng/mL), while a 12 day culture with BMP-4 served as the invitro control. OGC viability was maintained for the 16 day culture with BMP-4 (83.2%), but was significantly lower without BMP-4 (58.9%) than the control (83.0%). Prolong-cultured oocytes at 16days had statistically greater diameter (114.6μm) than the control (111.7μm). IVG oocytes with BMP-4 for the 16 day culture had a similar nuclear maturation rate to the control (approximately 67%); however, blastocyst rates in BMP-4 treated oocytes of 14 (1.8%) and 16 day (0%) IVG were statistically lower than that of 12 day IVG (9.0%). In conclusion, BMP-4 maintained OGC viability and promoted oocyte growth in a prolonged culture, but impaired the developmental competence of oocytes. Prolonged culture may not be an appropriate strategy for enhancing the developmental competence of IVG oocytes.

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