Application of intra- and extracellular sugars and dimethylsulfoxide to human oocyte cryopreservation

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Abstract

Purpose

Oocyte cryopreservation may avoid many complications of human embryo freezing and provide future fertility for women undergoing cancer therapy. The objective of this study was to explore the application of intra- and extracellular sugars in combination with small amounts of dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) to human oocyte cryopreservation as an alternative approach.

Methods

Discarded human oocytes that were obtained from IVF patients under informed consent and IRB approval, were cryopreserved by slow cooling to −196°C after being randomly distributed into three groups: (i) DMSO control without intra- and extracellular sugar; (ii) extracellular sugar (raffinose) + DMSO; and (iii) intra- and extracellular sugar (trehalose and raffinose, respectively) + DMSO. Subsequently, all cryopreserved oocytes were thawed rapidly, and their survival was assessed by morphological criteria after 24 h of culture.

Results

A total of 71 oocytes were evaluated in three groups with survival rates of 88.5% (23/26), 68.2% (15/22), and 52.2% (12/23) for intra- and extracellular sugar + DMSO, extracellular sugar + DMSO, and DMSO control groups, respectively.

Conclusion

These results support the use of intra- and extracellular sugars as an alternative approach for cryopreservation of human oocytes.

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