Send to

Choose Destination
Reproduction. 2009 Aug;138(2):319-27. doi: 10.1530/REP-09-0039. Epub 2009 May 13.

Human ovarian tissue vitrification versus conventional freezing: morphological, endocrinological, and molecular biological evaluation.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.


Cryopreservation as a process can be divided into two methods: conventional freezing and vitrification. The high effectiveness of vitrification in comparison with conventional freezing for human oocytes and embryos is shown, whereas data on human ovarian tissue are limited. The aim of this study was to compare the safety and effectiveness of conventional freezing and vitrification of human ovarian tissue. Ovarian tissue fragments from 15 patients were transported to the laboratory within 22-25 h in a special, isolated transport box that can maintain a stable temperature of between 5 and 8 degrees C for 36 h. Small pieces of ovarian tissue (0.3-1 x 1-1.5 x 0.7-1 mm) were randomly distributed into three groups: group 1, fresh pieces immediately after receiving transport box (control); group 2, pieces after vitrification; and group 3, pieces after conventional freezing. After thawing, all the pieces were cultured in vitro. The viability and proliferative capacity of the tissue by in vitro production of hormones, development of follicles, and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) gene expression after culture were evaluated. A difference between freezing and vitrification was not found in respect to hormonal activity and follicle quality. The supernatants showed 17-beta estradiol concentrations of 365, 285, and 300 pg/ml respectively, and progesterone concentrations of 3.82, 1.99, and 1.95 ng/ml respectively. It was detected that 95, 80, and 83% follicles respectively were morphologically normal. The molecular biological analysis, however, demonstrated that the GAPDH gene expression in ovarian tissue after vitrification was dramatically decreased in contrast to conventional freezing. For cryopreservation of human ovarian tissue, conventional freezing is more promising than vitrification, because of higher developmental potential.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center