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Cryopreservation and in vitro culture of white-tailed deer ovarian tissue

Gastal, G.D.A., Aguiar, F.L.N., Rodrigues, A.P.R., Scimeca, J.M., Apgar, G.A., Banz, W.J., Feugang, J.M., Gastal, E.L.
Theriogenology 2018 v.113 pp. 253-260
DNA fragmentation, Odocoileus virginianus, animal ovaries, apoptosis, cryopreservation, fawns, protein synthesis, protocols, survival rate, thawing, tissue culture, viability, vitrification
The aims of this study were to evaluate (1) the survivability of white-tailed deer ovarian tissue after cryopreservation by slow-freezing (SF) and vitrification (VIT) techniques and in vitro culture (IVC) for up to 7 days, and (2) the effects of cryopreservation techniques on protein expression of proliferative and apoptotic markers of ovarian tissue pre- and post-in vitro culture. Ovaries (n = 14) of seven white-tailed deer fawns (<1.5 years old) were used. Ovarian cortexes were cut into fragments (2 × 2 × 0.5 mm) and split into nine treatment groups: (1) fresh noncultured control, (2) fresh-IVC 1 day, (3) fresh-IVC 7 days, (4) SF noncultured, (5) SF-IVC 1 day, (6) SF-IVC 7 days, (7) VIT noncultured, (8) VIT-IVC 1 day, and (9) VIT-IVC 7 days. Preantral follicle morphology, class distribution, and density; stromal cell density; EGFR, Ki-67, Bax, and Bcl-2 protein expression; and DNA fragmentation were assessed. Results showed that: (i) white-tailed deer fresh ovarian tissue can be cultured for up to 7 days, preserving the tissue integrity and 50% of morphologically normal preantral follicles; (ii) cryopreservation of white-tailed deer ovarian tissue by either slow-freezing or vitrification does not disrupt markers of proliferation and apoptosis after thawing; (iii) ovarian fragments cryopreserved by the vitrification method had greater follicle viability during in vitro culture than the slow-freezing method; and (iv) fragments cryopreserved by slow-freezing suffered apoptosis earlier than those preserved by vitrification. The findings herein reported advance knowledge towards development of adequate cryopreservation protocols for long-term banking programs for Cervidae species.