Ultrastructure of bovine oocytes exposed to taxol prior to OPS vitrification

Roser Morató, Teresa Mogas, Poul Maddox-Hyttel

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Our objective was to document potential subcellular consequences of treatment with the microtubule stabilizer Taxol with or without subsequent vitrification of cow and calf oocytes by the open pulled straw (OPS) method. Oocytes were divided into four experimental groups for cows and four groups for calves: (1) a control group fixed immediately after maturation; (2) an OPS group cryopreserved by conventional OPS; (3) a Taxol/CPA group exposed to 1 μM Taxol and cryoprotective agents (CPAs); and (4) a Taxol/OPS group vitrified by OPS including 1 μM Taxol to the vitrification solution. All oocytes were processed for light and transmission electron microscopy. The main injuries were observed on the metaphase plate and the spindle. In control oocytes, the metaphase appeared as condensed chromosomes arranged in a well-organized metaphase plate and the spindle showed well organized microtubules in both cow and calf oocytes. However, in cow OPS oocytes, the metaphase plate was disorganized into scattered chromosomes or the chromosomes were condensed into a single block of chromatin. In addition, microtubules were not organized as typical spindles. In contrast, cow Taxol/OPS oocytes as well as both cow and calf Taxol/CPAs oocytes showed well-organized metaphase plates and normal spindle morphology. All calf OPS and calf Taxol/OPS oocytes displayed a single block of chromatin and no microtubules could be observed around the chromosomes. In conclusion, treatment with 1 μM Taxol before and during vitrification did not induce adverse changes in the oocyte cytoplasm or metaphase spindles in adult bovine oocytes, but stabilized the metaphase and spindle morphology. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1318-1326
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008


  • Cryopreservation
  • Cytoskeleton
  • TEM


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