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The development of in vitro embryo production (IVEP) techniques in Felis catus is a fitting model with potential application to the conservation of endangered felid species. To improve the quality of IVEP techniques an appropriate balance of pro- and antioxidants should be provided. Under in vitro conditions, high levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT) mRNA provide a defence mechanism against oxidative stress for embryos. In order to improve the development of cat oocytes, the effects of SOD and CAT supplemented to in vitro maturation (IVM) medium and of GPx supplemented to in vitro fertilization (IVF) medium on development and embryo production in vitro were evaluated. Data showed an increase of 70 and 77 % of cleaved embryo and blastocyst formation, respectively, in the experiment with SOD and CAT addition to IVM medium; in the experiment with GPx addition to IVF medium the number of cleaved embryos doubled and the number of embryos increased by 96 %. Therefore, our results were positive and encourage us to continue studies on cat oocytes evaluating the effects of various dosages and combination of antioxidants.
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