Artificial insemination is an indispensable technology for cattle breeding and is used for treating infertility in humans. Thus, new or improved methods are needed to increase the efficiency of artificial insemination. In vitro fertilization (IVF) has been developed in mice. Although many mouse lines produced using IVF have been preserved by freezing embryos and/or fertilized eggs, the more efficient IVF using freezing preservation or long‐term refrigeration of sperm is expected to preserve mouse lines more easily. In this chapter, we introduce the active compounds in licorice to improve the rate of IVF. We previously reported that the rate of IVF in mice was improved by adding a water extract of licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis), but not glycyrrhizin, to the artificial insemination culture medium. Recently, we analyzed the active ethyl acetate fraction containing high levels of flavonoids. This fraction was further purified by bioassay‐guided separation to isolate isoliquiritigenin and formononetin, which contributed to the improved rate of IVF. Isoliquiritigenin and formononetin may be useful therapeutic agents for infertility treatment.
Part of the book: Licorice Ingredients