Human oocytes and zygotes are ready for ultra-fast vitrification after 2?minutes of exposure to standard CPA solutions.
ABSTRACT: Vitrification of human oocytes and embryos in different stages of development is a key element of daily clinical practice of in vitro fertilization treatments. Despite the cooling and warming of the cells is ultra-fast, the procedure as a whole is time consuming. Most of the duration is employed in a long (8-15?minutes), gradual or direct exposure to a non-vitrifying cryoprotectant solution, which is followed by a short exposure to a more concentrated vitrifying solution. A reduction in the duration of the protocols is desirable to improve the workflow in the IVF setting and reduce the time of exposure to suboptimal temperature and osmolarity, as well as potentially toxic cryoprotectants. In this work it is shown that this reduction is feasible. In silico (MatLab program using two-parameter permeability model) and in vitro observations of the oocytes' osmotic behaviour indicate that the dehydration upon exposure to standard cryoprotectant solutions occurs very fast: the point of minimum volume of the shrink-swell curve is reached within 60?seconds. At that point, intracellular water ejection is complete, which coupled with the permeation of low molecular weight cryoprotectants results in similar intracellular and extracellular solute concentrations. This shows that prolonging the exposure to the cryoprotectant solutions does not improve the cytosolic glass forming tendency and could be avoided. To test this finding, human oocytes and zygotes that were donated for research were subjected to a shortened, dehydration-based protocol, consisting of two consecutive exposures of one-minute to two standard cryoprotectant solutions, containing ethylene glycol, dimethyl sulfoxide and sucrose. At the end of this two-minute dehydration protocol, the critical intracellular solute concentration necessary for successful vitrification was attained, confirmed by the post-warming survival and ability to resume cytokinesis of the cells. Further studies of the developmental competency of oocytes and embryos would be necessary to determine the suitability of this specific dehydration protocol for clinical practice, but based on our results, short times of exposure to increasingly hypertonic solutions could be a more time-efficient strategy to prepare human oocytes and embryos for vitrification.
Project description:Fish oocytes have not been cryopreserved successfully, probably because it is difficult to prevent intracellular ice from forming. Previously, we have shown in medaka that immature oocytes are more suitable for cryopreservation than mature oocytes or embryos, in terms of permeability. We have also shown in immature medaka oocytes that the exogenous expression of aquaporin 3 (AQP3), a water/cryoprotectant channel, promotes the movement of water and cryoprotectants through the plasma membrane. In the present study, we attempted to cryopreserve immature medaka oocytes expressing AQP3. We first examined effects of hypertonic stress and the chemical toxicity of cryoprotectants on the survival of the AQP3-expressing oocytes. Exposure to hypertonic solutions containing sucrose decreased the survival of oocytes, but the expression of AQP3 did not affect sensitivity to hypertonic stress. Also, AQP3 expression did not markedly increase sensitivity to the toxicity of cryoprotectants. Of the four cryoprotectants tested, propylene glycol was the least toxic. Using a propylene glycol-based solution, therefore, we tried to cryopreserve immature oocytes by vitrification. During cooling with liquid nitrogen, all intact oocytes became opaque, but many AQP3-expressing oocytes remained transparent. This indicates that the expression of AQP3 is effective in preventing intracellular ice from forming during cooling. During warming, however, all the AQP3-expressing oocytes became opaque, indicating that intracellular ice formed. Therefore, the dehydration and permeation by propylene glycol were still insufficient. Further studies are necessary to realize the cryopreservation of fish oocytes.
Project description:The ability to cryopreserve human oocytes has significant potential for fertility preservation. Current cryopreservation methods still suffer from the use of conventional cryoprotectants, such as dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO), causing loss of viability and function. Such injuries result from the toxicity and high concentration of cryoprotectants, as well as mechanical damage of cells due to ice crystal formation during the cooling and rewarming processes. Here we report the preservation of human oocytes following vitrification using an innovative bio-inspired cryoprotectant integrated with a minimum volume vitrification approach. The results demonstrate that the recovered human oocytes maintained viability following vitrification and rewarming. Moreover, when this approach was used to vitrify mouse oocytes, the recovered oocytes preserved their viability and function following vitrification and rewarming. This bio-inspired approach substitutes DMSO, a well-known toxic cryoprotectant, with ectoine, a non-toxic naturally occurring solute. The bio-inspired vitrification approach has the potential to improve fertility preservation for women undergoing cancer treatment and endangered mammal species.
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 method of vitrification has been widely used for cryopreservation. However, the effectiveness of this method for mammalian oocytes could be improved by optimizing each step of the process. In the present study, we tested the effects of varying several key parameters to determine the most effective protocol for mouse oocyte vitrification. We found that cryoprotectant containing ethylene glycol and dimethylsulfoxide plus 20% fetal calf serum produced the highest rates of oocyte survival, fertilization, and blastocyst formation. The duration and temperature of oocyte exposure to vitrification and thawing solutions influenced survival rate. The presence of cumulus cells surrounding oocytes and the incubation of thawed oocytes in Toyoda-Yokoyama-Hosoki medium also increased oocyte survival. Open pulled straw and nylon loop methods were more effective than the mini-drop method. Finally, the combination of these improved methods resulted in better spindle morphology when compared to the unimproved methods. These results demonstrate that the outcomes of mouse oocyte vitrification can be improved by a suitable combination of cryopreservation methods, which could be applied to future clinical research with human oocytes.
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:Gorgonian corals are slowly declining due to human interaction and environmental impacts. Cryopreservation of gorgonian corals is an ex-situ method of conservation, ensuring future reproduction. The present study assessed the vitrification properties of cryoprotectant (CPT) mixtures using the cryotop, cryoloop and open pulled straw (OPS) cryopereservation methods prior to experimentation on gorgonian (Junceella juncea) oocytes. Investigations of the equilibration and vitrification solutions' (ES and VS) effect on oocytes throughout different incubation periods were conducted. The cryotop method was found to be the most successful in ensuring vitrification. The most favourable VS was composed of propylene glycol (PG), ethylene glycol (EG) and methanol with concentrations of 3.5 M, 1.5 M and 2 M respectively. Experiments were performed using the cryotop method to cryopreserve Junceella juncea oocytes using VS2, the solution had the least impact on oocytes at 5°C rather than at 26°C. The success of the vitrification procedures was determined by adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels in cooled-thaw oocytes and the highest viability obtained from the present study was 76.6 ± 6.2%. This study provides information regarding gorgonian corals' tolerance and viability throughout vitrification to further advance the vitrification protocol on whip corals.
Project description:Loading of cryoprotectants into oocytes is an important step of the cryopreservation process, in which the cells are exposed to potentially damaging osmotic stresses and chemical toxicity. Thus, we investigated the use of physics-based mathematical optimization to guide design of cryoprotectant loading methods for mouse and human oocytes. We first examined loading of 1.5 M dimethyl sulfoxide (Me(2)SO) into mouse oocytes at 23°C. Conventional one-step loading resulted in rates of fertilization (34%) and embryonic development (60%) that were significantly lower than those of untreated controls (95% and 94%, respectively). In contrast, the mathematically optimized two-step method yielded much higher rates of fertilization (85%) and development (87%). To examine the causes for oocyte damage, we performed experiments to separate the effects of cell shrinkage and Me(2)SO exposure time, revealing that neither shrinkage nor Me(2)SO exposure single-handedly impairs the fertilization and development rates. Thus, damage during one-step Me(2)SO addition appears to result from interactions between the effects of Me(2)SO toxicity and osmotic stress. We also investigated Me(2)SO loading into mouse oocytes at 30°C. At this temperature, fertilization rates were again lower after one-step loading (8%) in comparison to mathematically optimized two-step loading (86%) and untreated controls (96%). Furthermore, our computer algorithm generated an effective strategy for reducing Me(2)SO exposure time, using hypotonic diluents for cryoprotectant solutions. With this technique, 1.5 M Me(2)SO was successfully loaded in only 2.5 min, with 92% fertilizability. Based on these promising results, we propose new methods to load cryoprotectants into human oocytes, designed using our mathematical optimization approach.
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: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:OBJECTIVE:The aim of the study was to compare the effects of two different concentrations of cryoprotectants by cryotopvitrification on survival, developmental capacity and Heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72) expression of two-cell mouse embryos. MATERIALS AND METHODS:In this experimental study, transcript analysis of Hsp72 gene was performed on non-vitrified and vitrified 2-cell mouse embryos via a nested quantitative polymerase chain reaction (nqPCR) subsequent to normalization with Hprt1 as the reference gene. The different cryoprotectant combinations were 15% (vit1:7.5% of each ethylene glycol (EG) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), 30% (vit2:15% EG + 15% DMSO) and control group with no cryoprotectants. Vitrified and fresh 2-cell embryos were cultured to obtain cleavage and blastocyst formation rates. The results were analyzed via one-way analysis of variance and the mean values were compared with least significant difference (LSD) (p< 0.05). RESULTS:The relative expression of Hsp72 in vit2 (30% v/v) was significantly higher than vit1 (15% v/v). Survival rates were the same for both vitrification treatments and significantly lower than the control group. Cleavage and blastocyst rates in vit1 were significantly higher than vit2 while those in two vitrified groups were significantly lower than the control group. CONCLUSION:Our developmental data demonstrated that vit1 treatment (7.5% EG and 7.5% DMSO) was more efficient than vit2 (15% EG and 15% DMSO) in mouse embryos. The cryotopvitrification with two concentrations of cryoprotectants caused the relative changes of Hsp72 transcript level, but the stability of the gene in vit1 was significantly higher than vit2 and closer to the fresh 2-cell embryos.