Impact of equilibration duration combined with temperature on the outcome of bovine oocyte vitrification

Tania Garcia Martinez, Iris Martinez Rodero, Joan Roncero-Carol, Iván Patricio Yánez Ortiz, ADAM ZACHARY HIGGINS, Maria Teresa Mogas Amoros*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The cryopreservation of mammalian oocytes and embryos has become an integral part of assisted reproduction in both humans and veterinary species. However, the methods used to cryopreserve bovine oocytes still have significant shortcomings. A wide variety of approaches has been used to try to improve and optimize methods of cryopreservation. However, these procedures employed are not always designed to specifically take account of the osmotic tolerance response of the cells according to the temperature and time of cryoprotectant (CPA) addition. When these properties are considered, optimal procedures for the addition of CPAs can be designed proactively. Based on in silico and in vitro osmotic observations, we propose shorter dehydration-based protocols at different temperatures (25°C vs. 38.5°C) towards defining an improved cryopreservation method. In vitro matured oocytes were exposed to equilibration solution (ES) at 25°C and 38.5°C and effects of optimized exposure times for each temperature were determined prior to vitrification/warming on oocyte spindle configuration, DNA fragmentation, and further embryo development. Upon exposure to standard ES (7.5% dimethyl sulfoxide + 7.5% ethylene glycol in TCM199 medium + 20% fetal bovine serum), original oocyte volume was recovered within 2 min 30 s at 38.5°C and 5 min 30 s at 25°C. In vitro matured oocytes were then exposed to the aforementioned cryoprotectants at both temperature/duration conditions and vitrified/warmed. While similar percentages of oocytes exhibiting a normally configured spindle and DNA fragmentation were observed in the fresh control group and oocytes vitrified at 38.5°C, significantly higher apoptosis rate and lower percentages of normal spindle configuration were observed in oocytes vitrified at 25°C when compared to control fresh oocytes. Similar cleavage rates and blastocyst yields were observed in the vitrified/38.5°C and fresh controls, while these rates were lower in vitrified/25°C. These results revealed that the limitation of the exposure time of the oocytes to the ES to the point of osmotic equilibrium volume recovery could be a more efficient approach to prepare them for vitrification. Therefore, exposure time to ES to 2 min 30 s at 38.5 °C appears to improve the quality of vitrified/warmed oocytes by protecting spindle integrity and reducing DNA fragmentation thus improving blastocyst rates and embryo quality.
Translated title of the contributionImpacto de la duración de la equilibración combinada con la temperatura en el resultado de la vitrificación de ovocitos bovinos
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-123
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • DNA fragmentation
  • Embryo development
  • Meiotic spindle
  • Membrane permeability
  • Osmotic behavior


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