Polyspermic penetration in porcine IVM-IVF systems

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69 Citations (Scopus)


Although techniques for in vitro production of porcine embryos have proceeded very rapidly during the past decade, polyspermic penetration still remains a persistent obstacle to porcine in vitro fertilization (IVF) systems. Considerable research on in vitro polyspermic penetration in porcine in vitro-matured (IVM) oocytes has been undertaken to try to solve this problem. In the current paper, recent advancements in overcoming the problems of polyspermy in porcine IVF systems are reviewed. Partial induction of the acrosome reaction of boar spermatozoa in IVF media that contain caffeine is likely to be one of the major causes of polyspermy. A reduction in the number of incompletely acrosome-reacted spermatozoa, which can bind tightly to the zona pellucida and mask free sperm receptors of the zona pellucida, could reduce the incidence of polyspermic penetration; however, morphological differences in the reaction of the zona pellucida have been observed between IVM and ovulated oocytes, which suggests that altered zona morphology may be another cause of polyspermic penetration. It has been shown that the developmental ability of polyspermic porcine embryos to the blastocyst stage is similar to that of normal embryos but that developmental competence to term is much lower. To overcome the current problems of polyspermy, it is suggested that future efforts should be focused on controlling boar sperm function and/or sperm-zona binding to achieve the final maturation associated with normal zona modifications of porcine oocytes at fertilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-177
Number of pages11
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 17 2003


  • Capacitation
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Oocytes
  • Pigs
  • Spermatozoa
  • Zona reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Developmental Biology


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