Background: Routine oocyte cryopreservation remains an elusive technique in the wide range of assisted reproductive technologies available. This study examines the effect of a cryopreservation protocol on the spindle and chromosome configurations of human oocytes cryopreserved at the germinal vesicle (GV) and metaphase II (MII) stage. Methods: GV oocytes were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (i) control oocytes matured in vitro to MII stage (n = 156); (ii) oocytes cryopreserved at the GV stage and then matured in vitro (n = 90); (iii) oocytes cryopreserved at the MII stage (n = 147). Following cryopreservation and in-vitro maturation, immunostaining of tubulin and chromatin was performed, before visualization using confocal microscopy. Results: A statistically significant increase was observed in the survival rate in group 2 (73.3%, 66/90) compared to group 3 (55.7%, 82/147) (P < 0.007). Exposure of oocytes to the cryoprotective solutions without freezing had no effect on the structure of their second meiotic spindle. However, statistically significant differences were observed on both spindle and chromosome configurations of oocytes from group 2 (5.2 and 5.2% respectively) and group 3 (16.2 and 18.8% respectively) compared with group 1 oocytes (71.6 and 82.0% respectively) (P < 0.001 in all cases). Conclusions: The protocol followed results in high rates of survival and potential for in-vitro maturation, but has a deleterious effect on the organization of the meiotic spindle of human oocytes cryopreserved at both the GV and MII stages.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2002|
- Chromosomal abnormalities