This study reports the first gross morphological and histological evidence of antral follicle development in human ovarian tissue following cryopreservation. Human ovarian tissue was cryopreserved using propanediol and sucrose and grafted under the renal capsule of bilaterally oophorectomized severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. Follicles at all stages of development were observed in the grafted tissue whereas, prior to grafting, only primary and primordial follicles were present. Antral follicles were rarely observed on grafts examined <20 weeks after grafting either non-frozen tissue (fresh, 1/7) or cryopreserved tissue (0/11). In contrast, development of at least one antral follicle was evident on the majority of sites ≥20 weeks after grafting (fresh 7/9, cryopreserved 18/24). Antral follicle diameters ranged from 0.1 to 5.0 mm. Histological examination of these antral follicles indicated normal follicular morphology, i.e. antral cavities encapsulated by concentric layers of theca and granulosa cells. Pedicles containing germinal vesicle oocytes were observed protruding from the granulosa cell layers. The development and morphology of the cryopreserved and fresh tissue following grafting was similar.
Copyright (C) 2001, European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
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