Four-cell to blastocyst stage bovine embryos were collected from superovulated donors and cultured for 90 min in Ham's F-10 medium (HF-10) containing 10% (V/V) absorbed anti-histocompatibility (H)-Y antiserum. Embryos were then washed 3 times and placed in HF-10 supplemented with 10% (V/V) fluorescein isothiocynate (FITC)-conjugated goat anti-mouse gamma globulin. After an additional wash, embryos were placed in fresh drops of HF-10, individually evaluated at 200 X magnification, and classified as either fluorescent (H-Y-positive) or nonfluorescent (H-Y-negative). Embryos were then placed in drops of HF-10 containing 14% vinblastin and cultured for 4-6 h. Embryos were coded and individually karotyped, and the sex chromosomes were identified. H-Y antigen was detected as early as the eight-cell stage, but not at the four-cell stage. Seventy-nine percent of fluorescent embryos and 89% of nonfluorescent embryos were XY and XX, respectively. Another experiment was carried out in which H-Y antigen was detected on intact inner cell masses (ICM) isolated by immunosurgery from expanded blastocysts that also had been assayed for H-Y antigen. Eighty-eight and 92%, respectively, of ICM classified as fluorescent or nonfluorescent had been scored the same as intact blastocysts. It is concluded from these data that H-Y antigen can be detected on eight-cell to blastocyst stage bovine embryos. There appears to be a localization of detectable antigen in the area of the ICM at the expanded blastocyst stage. Detection of H-Y antigen is an effective, noninvasive method for identification of the sex of preimplantation bovine embryos.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology