This study describes a cryopreservation method for porcine in vitro-produced (IVP) embryos using as a model parthenogenetic embryos derived from in vitro-matured (IVM) oocytes. IVP embryos at the expanded blastocyst stage were cryopreserved by vitrification using the minimum volume cooling (MVC) method and exhibited an embryo survival rate of 41.2%. Survival was then significantly improved (83.3%, P < 0.05) by decreasing the amount of cytoplasmic lipid droplets (delipation) prior to vitrification. IVP embryos at the 4-cell stage also survived cryopreservation when vitrified after delipation (survival rate, 36.0%), whereas post-thaw survival of nondelipated embryos was quite low (9.7%). Furthermore, it was demonstrated that porcine IVP morulae can be cryopreserved by vitrification following delipation by a noninvasive method (survival rate, 82.5%). These results clearly confirm that porcine embryos derived from IVM oocytes can be effectively cryopreserved with high embryo survival using the MVC method in conjunction with delipation.
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