Successful Vitrification ofIn vivoEmbryos Collected from Superovulated Japanese Black Cattle (Wagyu)


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Abstract

ContentThe aim of this study was to determine whether vitrification is an effective method when used for Japanese Black Cattle (Wagyu) in vivo-derived embryos, collected following a superovulation treatment and embryo transfer (MOET) programme. In vivo-derived morula and blastocysts collected on day 7 after artificial insemination, were vitrified using a modified droplet vitrification (MDV) procedure and subsequently warmed for transfer (ET) into synchronized recipients. Fresh embryos, and embryos cryopreserved using a standardized slow freezing procedure (direct thaw/direct transfer, DT) served as ET controls. Two different follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) sources, Folltropin® Canada (FSH BAH, 24 donors) and a brand prepared by the Chinese Academy of Science (FSH CAS, 16 donors), were compared in a series of superovulation outcomes following well-established FSH administration protocols. Following data analysis, the total number of ovulations recorded at the time of embryo flushing (10.5 vs 8.5; p = 0.28) and the total number of transferable embryos (6.2 vs 5.1; p = 0.52) were similar between the two FSH sources. ET for MDV (39.7%, n = 78), DT (35.2%, n = 71) and fresh controls (47.1%, n = 34) resulted in similar pregnancy rates (p > 0.05). When MDV was used, a higher pregnancy rate (42.6%) resulted from the transfer of vitrified morulae, when compared to the DT counterparts (24.3%), (p = 0.05). Transfer of vitrified morulae resulted also in higher pregnancy rate, when compared to the transfer of vitrified blastocysts (42.6% vs. 29.4%; p < 0.05). Transfer of DT blastocysts resulted in higher pregnancy rate than morulae, similarly cryopreserved (47.1% vs. 24.3%, p < 0.05). In conclusion, MDV is an effective alternative methodology for cryopreservation of in vivo-derived embryos. This study gives also indication that, compared to vitrified blastocysts, MDV of morula stage embryos results in higher pregnancy rates following warming and transfer into synchronized recipients.

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