Attempts to improve human ovarian transplantation outcomes of needle-immersed vitrification and slow-freezing by host and graft treatments
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To investigate if needle-immersed vitrification or slow-freezing yields better implantation results for human ovarian tissue and which method benefits more when combined with the “improvement protocol” of host melatonin treatment and graft incubation with biological glue + vitamin E + vascular endothelial growth factor-A.
Human ovarian tissue was preserved by needle-immersed vitrification or slow-freezing and transplanted into immunodeficient mice, either untreated (groups A and C, respectively) or treated with the improvement protocol (groups B and D, respectively). Grafted and ungrafted slices were evaluated by follicle counts, apoptosis assay and immunohistochemistry for Ki67 and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM).
Follicle number in the recovered grafts was limited. The number of atretic follicles was significantly higher after vitrification with/without the improvement protocol and slow-freezing than that after slow-freezing + the improvement protocol. Stroma cell apoptosis was the lowest in the group D. PECAM staining showed a peripheral and diffuse pattern in the group D (mostly normal follicular morphology) and a diffuse pattern in all other groups (few follicles, mostly atretic), with significantly higher diffuse levels in the vitrification groups. Ki67 staining was identified in all normal follicles. Follicles did not survive transplantation in the vitrification groups.
Ovarian sample preparation with slow-freezing + the improvement protocol appears to yield better implantation outcomes than needle-immersed vitrification with/without the improvement protocol. The real quality of frozen tissue can be assessed only after grafting and not after thawing/warming.
KeywordsHuman ovarian tissue Needle-immersed vitrification Slow-gradual freezing “Improvement protocol” PECAM Ki67 TUNEL
The authors are indebted to Ms. G. Ganzach from the Editorial Board of Rabin Medical Center for the English editing. The authors are also grateful to our laboratory technician Carmela Felz for the histological sections.
Compliance with ethical standards
The study was approved by the local institutional ethics committee. Informed consent to donate tissue for the present study was obtained from the patients or the parents of minors.
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