Author(s): Newton H, Picton H, Gosden RG
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Abstract A culture system has been designed in which enzymatically isolated oocyte-granulosa cell complexes from fresh and frozen-thawed ovine ovarian tissue can be grown to antral size in vitro. Oocyte-granulosa complexes ranging from 100 to 240 microns in diameter were dissected from stromal tissue and grown individually in serum-free medium for 30 days. Complexes < 190 microns generally excluded their oocytes or lost three-dimensional structure early in the culture period. In contrast, complexes isolated from fresh or frozen-thawed tissue and measuring 190-240 microns on the day of isolation formed antral cavities in 25 +/- 9\% and 18 +/- 6\% (mean +/- SEM) of cases, respectively. The effect of gonadotrophin supplementation to the culture medium was tested on frozen-thawed oocyte-granulosa cell complexes only. In cultures supplemented with both FSH and LH or FSH alone, there was no significant difference in the number of oocyte-granulosa cell complexes that formed antral cavities (18 +/- 7\%). However, antrum formation was significantly less frequent in cultures lacking gonadotrophin stimulation (7 +/- 4\%). All oocyte-granulosa cell complexes maintained a three-dimensional structure throughout culture and developed a functional P450 aromatase enzyme complex, as revealed by the induction of oestradiol production during 8 days of culture after antrum formation in serum-free medium containing testosterone. Oocytes recovered after 30 days of culture were viable and had increased in diameter from 78 +/- 2 microns on the day of isolation, to 131 +/- 3 microns at the end of culture. These results show that oocyte-granulosa cell complexes isolated from cryopreserved ovarian tissue can be grown to antral size in vitro with similar efficiency to those isolated from fresh tissue.
This article was published in J Reprod Fertil
and referenced in Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences