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Papers of the Week

2020 Aug 12

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci

A Nonsurgical Embryo Transfer Technique for Fresh and Cultured Blastocysts in Rats.


Stone BJ, Steele KH, Men H, Srodulski SJ, Bryda EC, Fath-Goodin A
J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2020 Aug 12.
PMID: 32787997.


The use of a nonsurgical embryo transfer technique in rodents eliminates the potential pain, distress, and health complicationsthat may result from a surgical procedure and as such, represents a refinement in rodent assisted reproductive techniques. A nonsurgical technique has not been previously developed for use with rat embryos. Here we describe an efficient method to deliver either fresh or cultured blastocyst stage embryos to the uterine horn of pseudopregnant female rats using a rat nonsurgical embryo transfer (rNSET) device. The rNSET device is composed of a Teflon catheter and a hub that attaches to a 2 μL pipette. Oxytocin is used to dilate the cervix before the delivery of blastocysts, allowing passage of the rNSET catheter directly into the uterine horn for embryo delivery. The efficiency of recovery of pups after nonsurgical embryo transfer is similar to the efficiency after surgical embryo transfer. Furthermore, the technique is not stressful to the subjects, as demonstrated by the absence of a decrease in weight or increase in fecal corticosterone level in recipients of embryos deliverednonsurgically, without the use of anesthesia or analgesia.