Obstetrics & Gynaecology Publications

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Amino acids in bovine oviductal and uterine fluids were measured and compared with those in modified simplex optimized medium (KSOM) supplemented with either fetal calf serum or Minimum Essential Medium amino acids in addition to bovine serum albumin, fetal calf serum or polyvinyl alcohol. Concentrations of cysteine, threonine, tryptophan, alanine, aspartate, glycine, glutamate, proline, beta-alanine, and citrulline were higher in oviductal fluids than in KSOM-based culture media. Nonessential and essential amino acids were present in ratios of 5:1 and 2:1 in oviductal and uterine fluids, respectively. Concentrations of alanine (3.7 mM), glycine (14.1 mM) and glutamate (5.5 mM) were high in oviductal fluids, comprising 73% of the free amino acid pool. Of the amino acids measured in uterine fluids, alanine (3.1 mM), glycine (12.0 mM), glutamate (4.2 mM), and serine (2.7 mM) were highest in concentration, and the first three comprised 43% of the free amino acid pool. In conclusion, amino acid concentrations in the bovine reproductive tract were substantially higher than those in embryo culture media. Certain amino acids, particularly alanine, glutamate, glycine and taurine, are present in strikingly high concentrations in both oviductal and uterine fluids, suggesting that they might play important roles in early embryo development. The particular pattern of amino acid concentrations may be an important factor to be considered for the improvement of embryo culture media.

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