Effects of Meiotic Stages, Cryoprotectants, Cooling and Vitrification on the Cryopreservation of Porcine Oocytes

  • Huang, Wei-Tung (Laboratory of Marine Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Institute of Zoology) ;
  • Holtz, Wolfgang (Institute of Animal Husbandry and Genetics, University of Goettingen)
  • Received : 2001.07.24
  • Accepted : 2001.11.27
  • Published : 2002.04.01


Different factors may affect the sensitivity of porcine oocytes during cryopreservation. The effect of two methods (cooling and vitrification), four cryoprotectants [glycerol (GLY), 1, 2-propanediol (PROH), dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) or ethylene glycol (EG)] and two vitrification media (1 M sucrose (SUC)+8 M EG; 8 M EG) on the developmental capacity of porcine oocytes at the germinal vesicle (GV) stage or after IVM at the metaphase II (M II) stage were examined. Survival was assessed by FDA staining, maturation and cleavage following IVF and IVC. A toxicity test for different cryoprotectants (GLY, PROH, DMSO, EG) was conducted at room temperature before cooling. GV and M II-oocytes were equilibrated stepwise in 1.5 M cryoprotectant and diluted out in sucrose. The survival rate of GV-oocytes in the GLY group was significantly lower (82%, p<0.01) than that of the other group (92 to 95%). The EG group achieved a significantly higher maturation rate (84%, p<0.05) but a lower cleavage rate (34%, p<0.01) than the DMSO group and the controls. For M II-oocytes, the survival rates for all groups were 95 to 99% and the cleavage rate of the GLY group was lower than the PROH-group (21 vs 43%, p<0.01). After cooling to $10^{\circ}C$, the survival rates of GV-oocytes in the cryoprotectant groups were 34 to 51%, however, the maturation rates of these oocytes were low (1%) and none developed after IVF. For M II-oocytes, the EG group showed a significantly higher survival rate than those of the other cryoprotectant groups (40% vs 23-26%, p<0.05) and the cleavage rates of PROH, DMSO and EG group reached only 1 to 2%. For a toxicity test of different vitrification media, GV and M II-oocytes were equilibrated stepwise in 100% 8 M EG (group 1) and 1 M SUC + 8 M EG (group 2) or equilibrated in sucrose and then in 8 M EG (SUC+8 M EG, group 3). For GV-oocytes, the survival, maturation and cleavage rates of Group 1 were significantly lower than those in group 2, 3 and control group (p<0.05). For M II-oocytes, there were no differences in survival, maturation and cleavage rates between groups. After vitrification, the survival rates of GV and M II-oocytes in group 2 and 3 were similarly low (4-9%) and none of them matured nor cleaved after in vitro maturation, fertilization and culture. In conclusion, porcine GV and M II-oocytes do not seem to be damaged by a variety of cryoprotectants tested, but will succumb to a temperature decrease to $10^{\circ}C$ or to the process of vitrification, regardless of the cryoprotectant used.


Cryopreservation;Cryoprotectants;Porcine Oocytes;Cooling;Vitrification


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