Should we isolate human preantral follicles before or after cryopreservation of ovarian tissue

Capsule:
Human preantral follicles can be successfully cryopreserved before or after isolation without impairing their ability to survive and grow in vitro.

Authors:
Julie Vanacker, Valérie Luyckx, M.D., Christiani A. Amorim, V.M.D., Ph.D., Marie-Madeleine Dolmans, M.D., Ph.D., Anne Van Langendonckt, Ph.D., Jacques Donnez, M.D., Ph.D., Alessandra Camboni, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 99, Issue 5, Pages 1363-1368.e2, April 2013

Abstract:

Objective:
To evaluate survival and growth potential of human preantral follicles isolated before and after cryopreservation.

Design:
Pilot study.

Setting:
Gynecology research unit in a university hospital.

Patients:
Six women aged 27 to 32 years.

Interventions:
Six ovarian biopsies were cut into two equal parts. One half was subjected to slow-freezing followed by follicle isolation (cryo-iso group) and alginate matrigel embedding. The other half was immediately processed for follicle isolation and alginate-matrigel embedding followed by slow-freezing (iso-cryo group) or used as fresh controls (fresh group).

Main Outcome Measures(s):
Follicle number, viability, diameter, and morphology.

Results:
After 1,134 preantral follicles had been isolated from fresh biopsy samples and 1,132 from frozen specimens, the three groups were compared before and after 7 days of in vitro culture (IVC) in alginate-matrigel beads. No statistically significant differences in viability were found between the three groups before or after IVC, but follicle diameter increased in all three groups after IVC. Morphology analysis revealed well-preserved follicles in both the iso-cryo and cryo-iso groups after IVC.

Conclusion:
Human preantral follicles can be successfully cryopreserved before or after isolation without impairing their ability to survive and grow in vitro. This can lead to development of new protocols for follicle cryopreservation, IVC, and grafting in clinical and research settings with a view to fertility preservation.

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