Cytoskeletal alterations in different developmental stages of in vivo cryopreserved preimplantation murine embryos
BackgroundThis study aimed to investigate the effects of vitrification and slow freezing on actin, tubulin, and nuclei of in vivo preimplantation murine embryos at various developmental stages using a Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope (CLSM).Material/MethodsFifty female mice, aged 4–6 weeks, were used in this study. Animals were superovulated, cohabitated overnight, and sacrificed. Fallopian tubes were excised and flushed. Embryos at the 2-cell stage were collected and cultured to obtain 4- and 8-cell stages before being cryopreserved using vitrification and slow freezing. Fixed embryos were stained with fluorescence-labelled antibodies against actin and tubulin, as well as DAPI for staining the nucleus. Labelled embryos were scanned using CLSM and images were analyzed with Q-Win software V3.ResultsThe fluorescence intensity of both vitrified and slow-frozen embryos was significantly lower for tubulin, actin, and nucleus as compared to non-cryopreserved embryos (p<0.001). Intensities of tubulin, actin, and nucleus in each stage were also decreased in vitrified and slow-frozen groups as compared to non-cryopreserved embryos.ConclusionsCryopreservation of mouse embryos by slow freezing had a more detrimental effect on the actin, tubulin, and nucleus structure of the embryos compared to vitrification. Vitrification is therefore superior to slow freezing in terms of embryonic cryotolerance.