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Cryopreservation of porcine embryos by vitrification: a study of in vitro development

, : Cryopreservation of porcine embryos by vitrification: a study of in vitro development. Theriogenology 42(1): 25-35

Until recently, attempts to preserve porcine embryos have been unsuccessful. Vitrification has been developed as a method of cryopreserving mammalian embryos by avoiding ice crystal formation, assuring a cryopreserved glass state during storage in liquid nitrogen. Vitrification may be a useful method of overcoming the deleterious effects of chilling injury when pig embryos are cryopreserved using conventional slow freezing procedures. In this study, we applied vitrification procedures for rodent and/or bovine embryos to cryopreserve porcine embryos. Following warming, survival was defined as normal development of embryos in culture, namely the formation or reexpansion of the blastocoelic cavity. Experiment 1 tested the relative toxicity of 3 vitrification procedures on Day-5, 6 and 7 porcine embryos. Embryos equilibrated in vitrification solution (VS3a) continued to develop in vitro at rates comparable to that of untreated control embryos. Experiment 2 was designed to evaluate embryonic development following cryopreservation by vitrification in VS3a. Day-5 porcine embryos did not survive cryopreservation while Day-6 and Day-7 embryos survived and continued development in vitro. In Experiment 3, we evaluated a period of culture prior to vitrification and its effect on cryosurvivability of porcine embryos. A 3-h culture period prior to vitrification had no effect on cryosurvivability over that of freshly recovered, immediately vitrified embryos. These studies indicate, for the first time, that porcine embryos can be successfully cryopreserved by vitrification based on morphology and subsequent development in vitro. However, survival following cryopreservation appears to depend upon embryonic age or stage of development.


PMID: 16727509

DOI: 10.1016/0093-691x(94)90659-7

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