The culture media used for in vitro embryo production (IVEP) technology in camels have been adopted from ones used in other domestic animal species. In order to improve maturation, fertilisation, and embryo culture media and thereby IVEP, a need exists to determine the ionic composition of follicular and oviduct fluids in this species. Reproductive tracts were collected from a local abattoir immediately after slaughter and transported to the laboratory within 2 h in separate ice-chilled sterile plastic bags. Oviductal fluid was aspirated from individual oviducts using sterilised Drummond pipettes. The follicular fluid was aspirated in sterile syringes attached to 22 gauge hypodermic needles. The biochemical constituents of follicular and oviductal fluid were measured by an automatic chemistry analyser (Roche Hitachi 912) using kits, reagents and instructions provided by the manufacturer. The concentration of sodium in developing and mature follicles was lower than that of the serum and cystic follicles, which tended to be similar. The concentration of potassium, phosphate and lactate significantly (P < 0.05) decreased as the follicle size increased with the highest concentration in 5-10 mm follicles and lowest in >20 mm cystic follicles. No difference was observed in the concentration of calcium, magnesium and chloride between serum and follicular fluid from different size follicles. No difference was observed in the concentration of glucose in the follicular fluid from different size follicles, however, it tended to be higher when compared with serum.
The concentration of sodium was lower in the oviductal fluid when compared with serum during all the stages of follicular development. During the oestrous/receptive phase of the cycle when ovaries were with mature follicles, sodium concentration was higher (P< 0.05) when compared with the other stages of follicular development. Potassium and phosphate concentrations were very high in the oviductal fluid when compared with serum through all the stages, however, it was lower during the peri-ovulatory period when compared with other stages of the reproductive cycle. No difference was observed in the calcium and chloride concentrations during the different phases of oestrous/follicular cycle, however, both of them were lower than that present in the serum. Magnesium levels were higher in the oviductal fluid compared to serum but did not differ during different follicular developmental stages. High concentrations of glucose and lactate were observed during all the stages of reproductive cycle in the oviductal fluid when compared with the serum.
Key words: Camel, follicular fluid, oviductal fluid