In this study, the effects of ovary transport and storage temperature on in vitro maturation of bitch oocytes were investigated. Ovaries were collected from 23 mature bitches and one randomly selected ovary of each pair (n = 23 pairs) was transported in physiologic saline at 4 degrees C, while the other one at 35-38 degrees C for 2-4 h. A total of 316 cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) were obtained from the 4 degrees C group and 301 COCs from the 35-38 degrees C group. All COCs were matured in modified synthetic oviduct fluid (mSOF) supplemented with follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), essential and non-essential amino acids at 38 degrees C in ahumidified 5% CO2, 5% O-2, and 90% N-2 atmosphere for 72 h. At the end of the in vitro maturation period, nuclear maturation of oocytes was classified as germinal vesicle (GV), germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD), metaphase I (MI), metaphase II (MII), undetermined nuclear maturation (UDNM), and MI + MII. The nuclear maturation rates to MI, MII, and MI + MII stages were 60.44%, 10.75%, and 71.20% in the 4 degrees C group and 37.20%, 7.64%, and 45.85% in the 35-38 degrees C group, respectively. The data demonstrated that oocytes obtained from ovaries transported at 4 degrees C had higher maturation rates than from the ones transported at 35-38 degrees C (p < 0.001). (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier B.V.