PURPOSE: Ovarian tissue can be cryopreserved prior to chemotherapy using either the slow-freezing or the vitrification method; however, the data on the equality of the procedures are still conflicting. In this study, a comparison of the cryo-damage of human ovarian tissue induced by either vitrification or slow-freezing was performed.
METHODS: Ovarian tissue from 23 pre-menopausal patients was cryopreserved with either slow-freezing or vitrification. After thawing/warming, the tissue was histologically and immunohistochemically analyzed and cultured in vitro. During tissue culture the estradiol release was assessed.
RESULTS: No significant difference was found in the proportion of high-quality follicles after thawing/warming in the slow-freezing and vitrification group, respectively (72.7 versus 66.7 %, p = 0.733). Estradiol secretion by the ovarian tissue was similar between groups during 18 days in vitro culture (area-under-the-curve 5,411 versus 13,102, p = 0.11). Addition of Sphingosine-1-Phosphate or Activin A to the culture medium did not alter estradiol release in both groups. The proportion of Activated Caspase-3 or 'Proliferating-Cell-Nuclear-Antigen' positive follicles at the end of the culture period was similar between slow-freezing and vitrification.
CONCLUSION(S): Slow-freezing and vitrification result in similar morphological integrity after cryopreservation, a similar estradiol release in culture, and similar rates of follicular proliferation and apoptosis after culture.
Research Areas and Centers
- Centers: Center for Pre-Implantation Diagnostics (PID)