Follicle development in cryopreserved bitch ovarian tissue grafted to immunodeficient mouse

L Commin, S Buff, E Rosset, C Galet, A Allard, P Bruyere, T Joly, P Guérin, V Neto
Reproduction, Fertility, and Development 2012, 24 (3): 461-71
The present study evaluated: (1) in vivo follicular development in canine ovarian tissue after slow freezing and xenotransplantation; and (2) the use of erythropoietin (EPO) as an angiogenic factor to optimise the transplantation procedure. Frozen-thawed ovarian tissue from five bitches was grafted into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice (n=47) treated with or without EPO (500 IU kg(-1), once daily for 3 days) (Groups A and B, respectively) and analysed after 0, 1, 8 or 16 weeks. Follicle grade, follicle density, follicle morphology and stromal cells density were assessed by histological analysis, whereas vascularisation of the graft was quantified by immunohistochemistry with anti-α-smooth muscle actin antibody. Despite a massive loss of follicles after grafting, secondary follicle density was higher at 8 and 16 weeks than at 1 week regardless of EPO treatment. EPO significantly improved early follicle morphology and stromal cell density after 8 weeks and blood vessel density at 16 weeks after transplantation (P<0.05). Intact secondary follicles with more than three granulosa cells layers were observed 16 weeks after transplantation. The results suggest that canine ovarian tissue can be successfully preserved by our slow-freezing protocol because the tissue showed follicular growth after xenotransplantation. EPO treatment did not lessen the massive loss of follicles after transplantation.

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