Embryo development and structural analysis of in vitro matured bovine oocytes vitrified in flexipet denuding pipettes

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The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of two different vitrification carrier systems for oocyte cryopreservation. In vitro matured (IVM) bovine oocytes were vitrified in open pulled straws (OPS) or flexipet denuding pipettes (FDP), and the effects of cryopreservation determined on the cytoskeletal components and developmental capacity of the oocytes. Three experimental groups were established according to whether the oocytes were vitrified in OPS (OPS group), FDP (FDP group) or left untreated (CTR group). Twenty two hours after the onset of maturation, sub-groups of 2-4 oocytes were pre-equilibrated in 1 mL of Hepes-TCM 199 with 20% fetal calf serum (FCS) (HM), 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and 10% ethylene glycol (EG) for 30 s. The oocytes were then transferred to a 20-μL drop of HM containing 20% DMSO, 20% EG and 0.5 M of sucrose, which was used to load the OPS or FDP before their immersion in liquid nitrogen (LN2). Oocytes were thawed by plunging the OPS or FDP into 0.25 M sucrose in HM, and then placed for 5 min each in 0.15 and 0 M sucrose in HM. After warming, spindle configuration, chromosome distribution and embryo development were assessed. Frozen-thawed semen was used for fertilization. Zygotes were denuded at 22 h post-insemination, and cultured in SOF medium for 9 days at 38.5 °C in a 5% CO2, 5% O2 and 90% N2 atmosphere. All experiments were performed using both cow and calf oocytes to establish sensitivity differences. After in vitro fertilization and culture, oocytes in the FDP group showed a lower cleavage rate than those in the OPS or control groups (P < 0.05), while blastocysts were only obtained in the OPS group, at a lower rate than controls. After warming, double fluorescent staining revealed higher rates of spindle and chromosome abnormalities in the FDP group compared to the OPS group (P < 0.05). No differences between cow and calf oocytes were observed in the different experiments. Our results indicate that the carrier system affects the capacity of IVM oocytes to survive cryopreservation. Unexpectedly, the flexipet denuding pipette failed to improve results and high rates of clustered chromatin and abnormal spindles were observed in calf and cow oocytes vitrified by the FDP method. In conclusion, the use of the flexipet denuding pipette modifies the cytoskeletal components and compromises the developmental capacity of in vitro matured calf and cow oocytes. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1536-1543
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008


  • Calf
  • Cow
  • Cryopreservation
  • OPS
  • Taxol


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