Vitrification preserves chromatin integrity, bioenergy potential and oxidative parameters in mouse embryos

Nicola A. Martino, Maria E. Dell'Aquila, Rosa A. Cardone, Bence Somoskoi, Giovanni M. Lacalandra, Sandor Cseh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of vitrification on morpho-functional parameters (blastomere/chromatin integrity and bioenergy/oxidative potential) of mouse preimplantation embryos.Methods: In vivo produced mouse (4/16-cell, morulae and blastocyst-stage) embryos were randomly divided into vitrification and control groups. For vitrification, embryos were exposed to a 2-step loading of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol, before being placed in a small nylon loop and submerged into liquid nitrogen. After warming, the cryoprotectants were diluted by a 3-step procedure. Embryo morphology, chromatin integrity and energy/oxidative status were compared between groups.Results: Vitrification induced low grade blastomere cytofragmentation (P < 0.05) and low chromatin damage only in embryos at the morula stage (P < 0.001). Mitochondrial (mt) distribution pattern was affected by vitrification only in early embryos (P < 0.001). Mitochondrial activity did not change upon vitrification in morula-stage embryos but it was reduced in blastocyst-stage embryos (P < 0.05). Intracellular ROS levels significantly increased in embryos at the morula and blastocyst stages (P < 0.001). Colocalization of active mitochondria and ROS increased only in vitrified blastocysts.Conclusions: In conclusion, this study elucidates the developmentally-related and mild effects of vitrification on morphology, nuclear and bioenergy/oxidative parameters of mouse embryos and demonstrates that vitrification is a suitable method for preserving predictive parameters of embryo ability to induce a full-term pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
JournalReproductive Biology and Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology

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