Mouse embryos require the presence of a bicarbonate buffer system for their development in vitro. The energy requirements for oocyte maturation and early zygote development prompted Biggers, Whittingham & Donahue (1967) to suggest that the fixation of carbon dioxide may play a rôle in the energy metabolism of the early embryo. The present study was undertaken in an attempt to demonstrate this reaction in the eight-cell mouse embryo.For each experiment, 400 eight-cell mouse embryos were flushed from the reproductive tracts of superovulated female albino mice. The basic medium was Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate containing 25 mm-sodium dl lactate, 0·25 mm-sodium pyruvate, 0·01 mm-sodium ketoglutarate, 0·01 mm-sodium malate, 0·01 mm-sodium citrate, 1 mg/ml bovine serum albumin, 60 μg/ml penicillin, 50 μg/ml streptomycin. After washing by transfer through
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