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Cryobiology. 2013 Aug;67(1):95-101. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2013.05.010. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Nuclear maturation and embryo development of porcine oocytes vitrified by cryotop: effect of different stages of in vitro maturation.

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State Key Laboratory for Agrobiotechnology, College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


The present study was designed to evaluate the viability, meiotic competence and subsequent development of porcine oocytes vitrified using the cryotop method at different stages of in vitro maturation (IVM). Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were cultured in IVM medium supplemented with 1mM dibutyryl cAMP (dbcAMP) for 22 h and then for an additional 22 h without dbcAMP in the medium. Germinal vesicle (GV), germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD), metaphase I (MI), anaphase I/telophase I (AI/TI) and metaphase II (MII) were found to occur predominantly at 0-22, 26, 32, 38 and 44 h of IVM, respectively. Oocytes were exposed to cryoprotectant (CPA) or vitrified after different durations of IVM (0, 22, 26, 32, 38 and 44 h). After CPA exposure and vitrification, surviving oocytes that were treated before completion of the 44 h maturation period were placed back into IVM medium for the remaining maturation period, and matured oocytes were incubated for 2h. CPA treatment did not affect the viability of oocytes matured for 26, 32, 38 or 44 h, but significantly decreased survival rate of oocytes matured for 0 or 22 h. CPA treatment had no effect on the ability of surviving oocytes to develop to the MII stage regardless of the stage during IVM; however, blastocyst formation following PA was severely lower (P<0.05) than that in the control. At 2h post-warming, the survival rates of oocytes vitrified at 26, 32, 38 and 44 h of IVM were similar but were higher (P<0.05) than those of oocytes vitrified at 0 or 22 h of IVM. The MII rates of surviving oocytes vitrified at 0 and 38 h of IVM did not differ from the control and were higher (P<0.05) than those of oocytes vitrified at 22, 26 or 32 h of IVM. After parthenogenetic activation (PA), both cleavage and blastocyst rates of vitrified oocytes matured for 22, 26, 32, 38 and 44 h did not differ, but all were lower (P<0.05) than those matured 0 h. In conclusion, our data indicate that survival, nuclear maturation and subsequent development of porcine oocytes may be affected by their stage of maturation at the time of vitrification; a higher percentage of blastocyst formation can be obtained from GV oocytes vitrified before the onset of maturation.

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