Vitrification of bovine oocytes: implications of follicular size and sire on the rates of embryonic development.
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: The objectives were to test how the source of oocytes and semen impacted vitrification of large numbers of bovine oocytes and subsequent IVF and early embryo development to test procedures that may assist with assisted reproductive technologies in humans. METHODS: Bovine oocytes were vitrified from follicles of different diameters, small (< or =4 mm) and medium (4 to 10 mm), using nylon mesh. Oocytes were exposed to the cryoprotectant composed of 40% (v/v) ethylene glycol, 18% (w/v) Ficoll-70, and 0.3 M sucrose in three stepwise dilutions. Thawing was conducted with a series of 0.5, 0.25 and 0.125 M sucrose dilutions in 20% fetal bovine serum. RESULTS: The cleavage (39.1% vs. 58.5%) and blastocyst rates (5.1% vs. 22.9%) were significantly lower for the vitrified oocytes. Follicle size had a significant impact on the development of embryos. Sires had significant effects on embryonic developmental rates. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that differences in development exist due to follicle source and sire used for IVF after vitrification.
Project description:Sugars are commonly supplemented into vitrification solution to dehydrate cells in order to reduce the formation of fatal intracellular ice crystals. Natural honey is a mixture of 25 sugars (mainly fructose and glucose) that have different biological and pharmacological benefits. The present study was designed to determine if honey can be used as a nonpermeating cryoprotectant in vitrification of bovine oocytes. In the first experiment, denuded-MII oocytes were exposed to 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 or 2.0 M of honey or sucrose. Natural honey and sucrose caused similar ooplasm dehydration. A significant relationship existed between time and ooplasm volume change (P < 0.05), during dehydration and rehydration phases, in both honey and sucrose solutions. In the second experiment, the immature cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were vitrified in an EG/DMSO-based vitrification solution containing honey (0.5, 1 or 1.5 M) or sucrose (0.5 M) as a gold standard. The vitrified-warmed COCs were matured in vitro and evaluated for nuclear maturation. The maturation (MII) rate was greater in nonvitrified control (81%) than vitrified groups (54%, P < 0.05). In the third experiment, COCs were either remained nonvitrified (control) or vitrified in 1.0 M honey or 0.5 M sucrose, followed by IVM, IVF and IVC (for 9 days). Cleavage rate was greater in control (74%) than in vitrified groups (47%, P < 0.05), without significant difference between sugars. Blastocyst rate was 34, 13 and 3% in control, honey and sucrose groups respectively (P < 0.05). In conclusion, natural honey acted as a nonpermeating cryoprotectant in vitrification solution and improved the embryonic development in vitrified bovine COCs.
Project description:Vitrification reduces the fertilisation capacity and developmental ability of mammalian oocytes; this effect is closely associated with an abnormal increase of cytoplasmic free calcium ions ([Ca2+]i). However, little information about the mechanism by which vitrification increases [Ca2+]i levels or a procedure to regulate [Ca2+]i levels in these oocytes is available. Vitrified bovine oocytes were used to analyse the effect of vitrification on [Ca2+]i, endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ (ER Ca2+), and mitochondrial Ca2+ (mCa2+) levels. Our results showed that vitrification, especially with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), can induce ER Ca2+ release into the cytoplasm, consequently increasing the [Ca2+]i and mCa2+ levels. Supplementing the cells with 10??M 1,2-bis (o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid (BAPTA-AM or BAPTA) significantly decreased the [Ca2+]i level and maintained the normal distribution of cortical granules in the vitrified bovine oocytes, increasing their fertilisation ability and cleavage rate after in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Treating vitrified bovine oocytes with 1??M ruthenium red (RR) significantly inhibited the Ca2+ flux from the cytoplasm into mitochondria; maintained normal mCa2+ levels, mitochondrial membrane potential, and ATP content; and inhibited apoptosis. Treating vitrified oocytes with a combination of BAPTA and RR significantly improved embryo development and quality after IVF.
Project description:Bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) using vitrified-thawed (VT) oocytes has been studied; however, the cloning efficiency of these oocytes is not comparable with that of nonvitrified (non-V) fresh oocytes. This study sought to optimize the survival and cryopreservation of VT oocytes for SCNT. Co-culture with feeder cells that had been preincubated for 15 h significantly improved the survival of VT oocytes and their in vitro developmental potential following SCNT in comparison to co-culture with feeder cells that had been preincubated for 2, 5, or 24 h (p<0.05). Spindle assessment via the Oosight Microscopy Imaging System and microtubule staining revealed that vitrified metaphase II oocytes (VT group) were not suitable for SCNT. However, enucleating and/or activating oocytes prior to freezing enhanced their developmental potential and suitability for SCNT. The cloning efficiency of the enucleated-activated-vitrified-thawed (EAVT) group (21.6%) was better than that of the other vitrification groups [enucleated-vitrified-thawed (EVT) group, 13.7%; VT group, 15.0%; p<0.05] and was comparable with that of the non-V group (25.9%). The reactive oxygen species level was significantly lower in the EAVT group than in the other vitrification groups (p<0.05). mRNA levels of maternal genes (ZAR1, BMP15, and NLRP5) and a stress gene (HSF1) were lower in the vitrification groups than in the non-V group (p<0.05), whereas the level of phospho-p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase did not differ among the groups. Among the vitrification groups, blastocysts in the EAVT group had the best developmental potential, as judged by their high mRNA expression of developmental potential-related genes (POU5f1, Interferon-tau, and SLC2A5) and their low expression of proapoptotic (CASP3) and stress (Hsp70) genes. This study demonstrates that SCNT using bovine frozen-thawed oocytes can be successfully achieved using optimized vitrification and co-culture techniques.
Project description:This study aimed to examine whether the addition of glutathione ethyl ester (GSH-OEt) to the in vitro maturation (IVM) medium would improve the resilience of bovine oocytes to withstand vitrification. The effects of GSH-OEt on spindle morphology, levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial activity and distribution, and embryo developmental potential were assessed together with the expression of genes with a role in apoptosis (BAX, BCL2), oxidative-stress pathways (GPX1, SOD1), water channels (AQP3), implantation (IFN-?) and gap junctions (CX43) in oocytes and their derived blastocysts. Vitrification gave rise to abnormal spindle microtubule configurations and elevated ROS levels. Supplementation of IVM medium with GSH-OEt before vitrification preserved mitochondrial distribution pattern and diminished both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial ROS contents and percentages of embryos developing beyond the 8-cell stage were similar to those recorded in fresh non-vitrified oocytes. Although not significantly different from control vitrified oocytes, vitrified oocytes after GSH-OEt treatment gave rise to similar day 8-blastocyst and hatching rates to fresh non-vitrified oocytes. No effects of GSH-OEt supplementation were noted on the targeted gene expression of oocytes and derived blastocysts, with the exception of GPX1, AQP3 and CX43 in derived blastocysts. The addition of GSH-OEt to the IVM medium before vitrification may be beneficial for embryo development presumably as the consequence of additional anti-oxidant protection during IVM.
Project description:This study examines whether incorporating cholesterol-loaded methyl-?-cyclodextrin (CLC) in the bovine oocyte plasma membrane improves oocyte tolerance to vitrification. In vitro matured oocytes were incubated with 2 mg/ml BODIPY-labeled CLC for different time intervals in FCS or PVA supplemented medium or exposed to different CLC concentrations to examine the subcellular localization of cholesterol by confocal microscopy live-cell imaging. Subsequently, the effects of optimized CLC concentrations and incubation times prior to vitrification on early embryo development were assessed. Then, we evaluated the effects of pretreatment with 2 mg/ml CLC for 30 min before the vitrification of immature (GV) and in vitro matured (MII) oocytes on developmental competence and gene expression. Our results indicate a high plasma membrane labeling intensity after 30 min of incubation with 2 mg/ml CLC for 30 min, regardless of the holding medium used. When oocytes were incubated with 1 mg/ml, 2 mg/ml and 3 mg/ml of CLC, intense labeling was observed at the plasma membrane after 40, 30 and 20 min, respectively. CLC pre-treatment before the vitrification of bovine oocytes did not affect subsequent cleavage and embryo development rates irrespective of CLC concentrations, incubation times or meiotic stage. However, pretreatment seems to improve the quality of embryos derived from vitrified oocytes, mainly when oocytes were vitrified at the GV stage.
Project description:The present study mainly aimed to investigate the effect of vitrification temperature (VT) and cryoprotective agent concentrations (CPAs) on the mRNA transcriptome of bovine immature oocytes (BIOs). Cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) were randomly divided into the following five groups: fresh oocytes (control), oocytes vitrified in liquid helium (LHe; -269℃) with 5.6 M CPAs (LHe 5.6 M), oocytes vitrified in LHe with 6.6 M CPAs (LHe 6.6 M), oocytes vitrified in liquid nitrogen (LN; -196℃) with 5.6 M CPAs (LN 5.6 M), and oocytes vitrified in LN with 6.6 M CPAs (LN 6.6 M). mRNA transcriptomes of each sample were analyzed by Smart-seq4, and the diﬀerentially expressed genes (DGEs) were detected by edgeR (p≤0.05; fold-change≥2). Compared with the control group, 505 DGEs were detected with 342 up-regulated and 163 down-regulated genes in LHe 5.6 M; 609 DGEs were detected with 493 up-regulated and 116 down-regulated gene in LHe 6.6 M; 218 DGEs were determined with 101 up-regulated and 117 down-regulated genes in LN 5.6 M; and 221 DGEs were detected with 104 up-regulated and 117 down-regulated genes in LN 6.6 M. LHe vitrification affected the mRNA transcriptome of vitrified BIOs mainly by up-regulating gene expression. Reduced CPAs (5.6 M) decreased the effect of vitrification on mRNA transcriptome when LHe vitrification was used. Among all the DGEs closely related to bovine immature oocytes, the genes possibly related to VT were ND2, MPV17L2, PIF1, LPIN1, IMP3, BRD1, DCTN3, DERA, ATP7B, NEK5, HVCN1 and MARK2. The gene that may be associated with CPAs is CC2D2A. Genes that may be affected by both VT and CPAs were PGK1, SLC7A3, FITM2, NPM3, ISCU, CWC15 and PSAP. DERA was up-regulated when reduced VT (-269 °C) was used, which may have contributed to the recovery and stress prevention of vitrified oocyte. Overall design: Examination the effect of vitrification temperature and cryoprotectant concentrations on the mRNA transcriptome of bovine immature oocytes
Project description:Oocyte cryopreservation has a significant impact on subsequent embryonic development. Herein, we investigated whether supplementing in vitro maturation medium with Leukemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) prior to vitrification affects embryo development and gene expression at different embryo developmental stages. A panel of genes including maternal effect, epigenetics, apoptosis and heat stress was relatively quantified. The results show reduced cleavage rates after vitrification, regardless of the LIF treatment. Although not statistically different from control-vitrified oocytes, oocyte apoptosis and the blastocyst yield of LIF-vitrified oocytes were similar to their non-vitrified counterparts. Vitrification increased oocyte ZAR1, NPM2 and DPPA3 gene expression while its expression decreased in LIF-vitrified oocytes to similar or close levels to those of non-vitrified oocytes. With a few gene-specific exceptions, vitrification significantly increased the expression of DNMT3A, HDAC1, KAT2A, BAX and BCL2L1 in oocytes and most stages of embryo development, while comparable expression patterns for these genes were observed between LIF-vitrified and non-vitrified groups. Vitrification increased HSPA1A expression in oocytes and HSP90AA1 in 2-cell embryos. Our data suggest that vitrification triggers stage-specific changes in gene expression throughout embryonic development. However, the inclusion of LIF in the IVM medium prior to vitrification stimulates blastocyst development and several other developmental parameters and induces oocytes and embryos to demonstrate gene expression patterns similar to those derived from non-vitrified oocytes.
Project description:PURPOSE: Embryos generated from oocytes which have been vitrified have lower blastocyst development rates than embryos generated from fresh oocytes. This is indicative of a level of irreversible damage to the oocyte possibly due to exposure to high cryoprotectant levels and osmotic stress. This study aimed to assess the effects of vitrification on the mitochondria of mature mouse oocytes while also examining the ability of the osmolyte glycine, to maintain cell function after vitrification. METHODS: Oocytes were cryopreserved via vitrification with or without 1 mM Glycine and compared to fresh oocyte controls. Oocytes were assessed for mitochondrial distribution and membrane potential as well as their ability to fertilise. Blastocyst development and gene expression was also examined. RESULTS: Vitrification altered mitochondrial distribution and membrane potential, which did not recover after 2 h of culture. Addition of 1 mM glycine to the vitrification media prevented these perturbations. Furthermore, blastocyst development from oocytes that were vitrified with glycine was significantly higher compared to those vitrified without glycine (83.9 % vs. 76.5 % respectively; p<0.05) and blastocysts derived from oocytes that were vitrified without glycine had significantly decreased levels of IGF2 and Glut3 compared to control blastocysts however those derived from oocytes vitrified with glycine had comparable levels of these genes compared to fresh controls. CONCLUSION: Addition of 1 mM glycine to the vitrification solutions improved the ability of the oocyte to maintain its mitochondrial physiology and subsequent development and therefore could be considered for routine inclusion in cryopreservation solutions.
Project description:The aim of the present study was to clarify whether or not our vitrification procedure at the germinal vesicle (GV)-stage triggers the apoptotic cascade in oocytes and subsequent embryos. Immature porcine cumulus-oocyte complexes were either vitrified and warmed (vitrified group) or subjected to cryoprotectant agents (CPA group) or cultured without any treatment (control). Oocytes of all treatment groups were subjected to in vitro maturation (IVM), fertilization, and embryo culture. Apoptosis was assayed in live oocytes at the end of IVM culture and in cleavage-stage embryos after in vitro fertilization (IVF). We detected similar frequencies of DNA fragmentation, levels of caspase activity, phosphatidylserine externalization, and mRNA levels for pro-apoptotic Bax and CASP3 genes in oocytes at the end of IVM and in early embryos among all groups. However, in the vitrified group, the anti-apoptotic Bcl-XL gene was upregulated in 4-8 cell embryos, which caused an 8-fold significant increase in the Bcl-XL/Bax mRNA ratio compared with the control and CPA groups (P < 0.05). In conclusion, vitrification of porcine oocytes at the GV stage by our method did not trigger the apoptotic cascade in oocytes and subsequent embryos but triggered the upregulation of the anti-apoptotic Bcl-XL gene in embryos.
Project description:Does the use of a new cryoprotectant agent (CPA) exchange protocol designed to minimize osmotic stress improve oocyte or zygote vitrification by reducing sublethal cryodamage?The use of a new CPA exchange protocol made possible by automated microfluidics improved oocyte and zygote vitrification with superior morphology as indicated by a smoother cell surface, higher sphericity, higher cytoplasmic lipid retention, less cytoplasmic leakage and higher developmental competence compared with conventional methods.The use of more 'steps' of CPA exposure during the vitrification protocol increases cryosurvival and development in the bovine model. However, such an attempt to eliminate osmotic stress is limited by the practicality of performing numerous precise pipetting steps in a short amount of time.Murine meiotically competent germinal vesicle intact oocytes and zygotes were harvested from the antral follicles in ovaries and ampulla, respectively. Bovine ovaries were obtained from a local abattoir at random stages of the estrous cycle. A total of 110 murine oocytes, 802 murine zygotes and 52 bovine oocytes were used in this study.Microfluidic devices were fabricated using conventional photo- and soft-lithography. CPAs used were 7.5% ethylene glycol (EG) and 7.5% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) for equilibration solution and 15% EG, 15% DMSO and 0.5 M sucrose for vitrification solution. End-point analyses include mathematical modeling using Kedem-Katchalsky equations, morphometrics assessed by conventional and confocal microscopy, cytoplasmic lipid quantification by nile red staining, cytoplasmic leakage quantification by fluorescent dextran intercalation and developmental competence analysis by 96 h embryo culture and blastomere quantification.The automated microfluidics protocol decreased the shrinkage rate of the oocyte and zygote by 13.8 times over its manual pipetting alternative. Oocytes and zygotes with a lower shrinkage rate during CPA exposure experienced less osmotic stress resulting in better morphology, higher cell quality and improved developmental competence. This microfluidic procedure resulted in murine zygotes with a significantly smoother cell surface (P < 0.001), more spherical cellular morphology (P < 0.001), increased cytoplasmic lipid retention in vitrified and warmed bovine oocytes (P < 0.01), decreased membrane perforations and cytoplasmic leakage in CPA-exposed murine zygotes (P < 0.05) and improved developmental competence of vitrified and warmed murine zygotes (P < 0.05) than CPA exposure using the current clinically used manual pipetting method.It is necessary to design the microfluidic device to be more user-friendly for widespread use.The theory and approach of eliminating osmotic stress by decreasing shrinkage rate is complementary to the prevalent osmotic stress theory in cryobiology which focuses on a minimum cell volume at which the cells shrink. The auto-microfluidic protocol described here has immediate applications for improving animal and human oocyte, zygote and embryo cryopreservation. On a fundamental level, the clear demonstration that at the same minimum cell volume, cell shrinkage rate affects sublethal damage should be broadly useful for cryobiology.This project was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the University of Michigan Reproductive Sciences Program. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.