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49 Developmental Potential of Dromedary Camel Oocytes Vitrified at the Germinal Vesicle Stage: Effects of Different Cryoprotectant Combinations and Cryo-Carriers

M. Fathi A , A. R. Moawad A C and M. R. Badr B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Theriogenology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt;

B Department of AI and ET, Animal Reproduction Research Institute, Agriculture Research Centre, Giza, Egypt;

C Research Institute, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 30(1) 164-164
Published: 4 December 2017


Cryopreservation of oocyte would be an alternative to overcome the limited availability of dromedary camel oocytes and allow improvements in in vitro production in this species. Our aim was to develop a protocol for vitrification of dromedary camel oocytes at the germinal vesicle (GV) stage using various cryoprotectant combinations and cryo-carriers. In experiment 1, cumulus–ppcyte complexes (COC) obtained at slaughter were equilibrated in a solution composed of 10% ethylene glycol (EG) and 0.25 M trehalose. The oocytes were then exposed for 60 s to vitrification solutions (VS) composed of 20% EG and 20% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO; VS1) or 25% EG plus 25% DMSO (VS2) or 25% EG and 25% glycerol (VS3). The COC were then transferred into decreasing concentration of trehalose solution (toxicity test). In experiment 2, COC were randomly divided into 4 groups and vitrified by using straw or open pulled-straw (OPS) or solid surface vitrification (SSV) or cryotop in VS1 or VS2. Following vitrification and warming viable oocytes were matured in vitro for 30 h at 39°C in 5% CO2 in air. Matured oocytes were fertilized in vitro by epididymal spermatozoa of mature male camels and then cultured in modified KSOMaa medium for 7 days. Oocyte viability, maturation, fertilization, and embryo development were evaluated. Data were analysed using one-way ANOVA and t-test. Viability and nuclear maturation rates were significantly lower (P ≤ 0.05) in oocytes exposed to VS3 (44.8% and 34.0%) than those exposed to VS1 (68.2% and 48.0%) and VS2 (79.3% and 56.9%). Although recovery rates were significantly lower (P ≤ 0.05) in oocytes vitrified using SSV or cryotop in either VS1 or VS2 solutions (66.9% to 71.1%) than those vitrified by straws using VS1 or VS2 solutions (86.3% to 91.0%), survival rates were higher in SSV and cryotop groups (90.7% to 94.8%) than straw and OPS (68.2% to 86.5%) groups. Among vitrified groups, maturation and fertilization rates (51.8% and 39.2%, respectively) were the highest in the cryotop-VS2 group. Those values were comparable to those seen in the controls (59.2% and 44.6%, respectively). Cleavage (22.5% to 27.9%), morula (13.2% to 14.5%), and blastocyst (6.4% to 8.5%) rates were significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) in SSV and cryotop groups than in straws. No significant differences were observed in these parameters between cryotop and control groups. Together, the results show that both vitrification solution and cryodevice affect viability and developmental competence of vitrified/warmed dromedary camel oocytes. We report for the first time that dromedary camel oocytes vitrified at the GV stage have the ability to be matured, fertilized, and subsequently develop in vitro to produce blastocyst embryos at frequencies comparable to those obtained using fresh oocytes.

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