In vitro maturation, apoptotic gene expression and incidence of numerical chromosomal abnormalities following cryotop vitrification of sheep cumulus-oocyte complexes

Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

Volume 5 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----
Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of cryotop vitrification of sheep cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) on oocyte maturation, apoptotic gene expression and incidence of chromosomal abnormalities. Freshly isolated (control group) and vitrified-warmed COCs (cryotop group) were matured in vitro. The expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic genes was investigated by real-time PCR. The incidence of numerical chromosomal abnormalities was evaluated by cytogenetic analysis. The mean percentage of oocytes in the cryotop and control groups that reached metaphase II was 49.25 +/- 3.01% and 51.94 +/- 2.7% respectively. The expression rates of pro- and anti-apoptotic genes were similar in both groups, whereas the incidence of numerical chromosomal abnormalities was higher in the cryotop group compared to the control group (42.5% vs. 20%, p < 0.05). Although cryotop vitrification of COCs did not affect the incidence of oocyte maturation or apoptotic gene expression, significant deficiencies in the maintenance of oocyte chromosomal organization were seen.