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Exposure to warmer postoperative temperatures reduces hypothermia caused by anaesthesia and significantly increases the implantation rate of transferred embryos in the mouse.

Bagis, H., Mercan, H.O. and Dinnyes, A.

Laboratory Animals, 38(1), 50-54 (2004).

Embryo transfer (ET) is among the key factors determining the overall efficiency of transgenic technology in the mouse. A successful ET depends among other factors on the quality of the transferred embryos, foster mothers and anaesthetic reagents and on the transfer techniques. Anaesthesia-caused deaths and suboptimal ET procedures are factors which reduce the success of transgenic experiments and mouse colony maintenance. Here we compared the effects of two anaesthetic reagents-a ketamine/xylazine combination, and tribromoethanol (Avertin)-on the rates of implantation and development to term of mouse zygotes transferred into the oviducts of CD-1 foster mothers, and evaluated whether hypothermia caused by anaesthetics after the ET operation could be overcome by postoperative incubation of the foster mothers. We established two experimental groups of fosters, one of which was kept at room temperature (RT, 21degreesC) with the other in an incubator (33degreesC) overnight after ET. Rates of implantation, resorption and development to normal fetuses were evaluated by sacrificing the foster mothers on the 15th day of their pregnancy. Our results showed that regardless of the anaesthetic reagents used, the rates of implantation and of development to normal fetuses can be significantly improved by exposing the foster mothers to warmer temperatures (33degreesC) immediately after the ET operation. These results may have important implications in increasing the success rate of ET with micromanipulated embryos.