Effects of vitrification in open pulled straws on the cytology of in vitro matured prepubertal and adult bovine oocytes

José Luis Albarracín, Roser Morató, Claudia Rojas, Teresa Mogas

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46 Citations (Scopus)


This study was designed to evaluate the effects of the cryopreservation of oocytes obtained from prepubertal calves or adult cows on chromosome organization, spindle morphology, cytoskeleton structures, and the ability of fertilized oocytes to develop to the blastocyst stage. Once in vitro matured (IVM), the oocytes were divided into three groups according to whether they were: (1) left untreated (control); (2) exposed to cryoprotectant agents (CPAs); or (3) cryopreserved by the open-pulled-straw (OPS) vitrification method. After thawing, oocyte samples were fixed, stained using specific fluorescent probes and examined under a confocal microscope. The remaining oocytes were fertilized, and cleavage and blastocyst rates recorded. After vitrification or CPA exposure, significantly higher proportions of oocytes showed changes in spindle morphology compared to the control group. The spindle structure of the adult cow IVM oocytes was significantly more resistant to the OPS vitrification process. Vitrification of oocytes from calves or adult cows led to significantly increased proportions of oocytes showing discontinuous or null actin staining of the cytoskeleton compared to non-treated controls. Oocytes only exposed to the cryoprotectants showed a similar appearance to controls. A normal distribution of actin microfilaments was observed in both calf and adult cow oocytes, irrespective of the treatment. Cleavage and blastocyst rates were significantly lower for vitrified versus non-treated oocytes. Oocytes obtained from adult cows were more sensitive to CPA exposure, while the vitrification procedure seemed to have more detrimental effects on the calf oocytes. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-901
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2005


  • Calf oocytes
  • Cleavage
  • Cryopreservation
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Meiotic spindle


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