Purpose: To investigate whether single-culture systems influence the quality of in vitro-matured oocytes, we examined the maturation and developmental competence of oocytes obtained by grouped in vitro maturation (IVM) or single IVM. Methods: In vitro-matured oocytes were obtained using the culture drop (CD) method for the grouped IVM experiments, and the CD and hanging drop (HD) method for the single IVM experiments. To evaluate oocyte developmental competence, we performed in vitro fertilization and culture, and counted the number of blastocysts. To evaluate the oocyte cytoplasmic maturation, we measured the maturation promoting factor (MPF) expression levels. Results: Oocytes cultured singly had lower maturity and developmental competence than the grouped IVM oocytes. However, enhanced oocyte fertility and blastocyst quality was achieved by the HD single IVM method. Additionally, the MPF activity level increased in all culture methods, compared to the control; however, it lagged behind nuclear maturation. Conclusions: These results suggest that the HD method is efficient for single IVM.
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