It has been shown that oocytes isolated from ovarian tissue cryopreservation acquire DNA damage during the process of freeze-thawing. Using a mouse model, here we have investigated the functional competence and phosphorylation of H2AX (γ-H2AX) in germinal vesicle (GV) and parthenogenetically activated oocytes derived from conventional ovarian tissue slow freezing and vitrification techniques. The number of GV-stage oocytes with γ-H2AX foci was not significantly different between the slow-freezing and vitrification groups. Although the in vitro maturation (IVM) potential of GV oocytes in the slow-freezing group showed a significant delay (P<0.0001) in the process of germinal vesicle breakdown, no difference in the maturation rate was observed between the two protocols. Nevertheless, parthenogenetic activation of IVM oocytes using strontium chloride showed a significantly lower activation rate in the slow-freezing group compared with the vitrification (P<0.05) and control (P<0.01) groups. Importantly, H2AX phosphorylation was significantly perturbed in the slow-freezing group in comparison to the control (P<0.05). Therefore, we conclude that impaired sensing of DNA strand breaks and repair processes are associated with the reduced functional competence of the oocytes recovered from the slow-freezing group, which may have a significant impact on the reproductive outcome.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Reproductive Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Developmental Biology