Most parthenogenetic embryos (PEs) in mammals die shortly after implantation, and this failure to develop is associated with genomic imprinting. We have examined the influence of human recombinant basic fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) and human recombinant insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II) on the development of (CBA × C57BL/6)F1 parthenogenetic mouse embryos. Embryos were treated in vitro at the morula stage with different doses of FGF-2 and, after their development to blastocysts, transferred to pseudopregnant recipients. The optimal doses of FGF-2 did not affect the number of forming and implanting blastocysts, but increased, from 20 to 42%, the number of embryos developing to somite stages. PEs (18–21 somites) treated with an optimal dose of FGF-2 were explanted for further development in culture by treatment with the second growth factor, IGF-II. Eighty-three percent of those embryos cultured with IGF-II (2.5 μg/ml) developed to 35 or more somites, as compared with 36% of embryos cultured without any growth factors (P < 0.01). Also, a significantly higher proportion of PEs developed to 40–50 somites in this case. These results show that the in vitro treatment of PEs with FGF-2 at the morula stage increases the number of somite embryos, and the second treatment of somite PEs with IGF-II in culture medium prolongs their development significantly.
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Vol. 37 • No. 7