This study was designed to establish the effects of the meiotic stage of bovine oocytes and of a prematuration treatment with roscovitine (ROS) on their resistance to cryopreservation. Oocytes from prepubertal calves at the stages of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) or at metaphase II (MII) were vitrified by the open pulled straw (OPS) method. In another experiment, oocytes were kept under meiotic arrest with 50 μM ROS for 24 hr and vitrified at the GVBD stage. After warming, some 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. Significantly lower cleavage rates were obtained for the vitrified GVBD and MII oocytes (9.9% and 12.6%, respectively) compared to control oocytes (73.9%). Significantly worse results in terms of cleavage rates were obtained when GVBD calf oocytes were exposed to cryoprotectants (CPAs: ethylene glycol plus dimethyl sulfoxide, DMSO) (13.1%) or vitrified (1.6%) after a prematuration treatment with ROS, when compared to untreated control oocytes (68.7%) or ROS-control oocytes (56.6%). None of the vitrification procedures yielded blastocysts, irrespective of the initial meiotic stage or previous prematuration treatment. Compared to the control oocytes, significantly fewer oocytes exhibited normal spindle configuration after being exposed to CPAs or after vitrification of either GVBD or MII calf oocytes. These results indicate that the vitrification protocol has a deleterious effect on the meiotic spindle organization of calf oocytes cryopreserved at both the GVBD and MII stage, which impairs the capacity for further development of the embryos derived from these vitrified oocytes. Prematuration treatment with ROS has no beneficial effect on the outcome of vitrification by the OPS method. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
- Meiotic spindle
- Metaphase II