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- Effect of Vitrification of Feline Ovarian Cortex on Follicular and Oocyte Quality and Competence
- Univ Milan
- Dipartimento Sci Anim
- Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
- Cryopreservation of ovarian cortex has important implications in the preservation of fertility and biodiversity in animal species. Slow freezing of cat ovarian tissue resulted in the preservation of follicular morphology and in the follicular development after xenografting. Vitrification has been recently applied to ovarian tissues of different species, but no information is available on the effect of this method on feline ovarian cortex. Moreover, meiotic competence of fully grown oocytes isolated from cryopreserved tissue has not been reported. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of vitrification of feline ovarian cortex on follicular morphology and oocyte integrity, as well as meiotic competence. A total of 352 fragments (1.52 mm3) were obtained from ovarian cortical tissues: 176 were vitrified and 176 were used fresh as control. Histological evaluation of fresh and vitrified fragments showed intact follicles after cryopreservation procedures with no statistically significant destructive effect from primordial to antral follicles. After IVM, oocytes collected from vitrified ovarian fragment showed a higher proportion of gametes arrested at germinal vesicle (GV) stage compared to those isolated from fresh control tissue (33.8% vs 2.9%; p < 0.001). However, oocytes isolated from vitrified tissues were able to resume meiosis, albeit at lower rate than those collected from fresh tissues (39.8% vs 85.9%; p < 0.00001). Vitrification induced changes in the organization of cytoskeletal elements (actin microfilaments and microtubules) of oocytes, but significantly only for actin network (p < 0.001). Finally, chromatin configuration within the GV was not affected by the cryopreservation procedure. Our study demonstrated that vitrification preserves the integrity of ovarian follicles and that oocytes retrieved from cryopreserved tissue maintain the capability of resuming meiosis. To our knowledge, this has not previously been reported in the cat.
- Reproduction In Domestic Animals. Malden: Wiley-blackwell, v. 47, n. 3, p. 385-391, 2012.
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