Beneficial effects of serum supplementation during in vitro production of porcine embryos on their ability to survive cryopreservation by open pulled straw vitrification

Theriogenology. 2005 Oct 1;64(6):1340-9. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2005.02.013. Epub 2005 Apr 12.


The ability of porcine blastocysts produced in vitro, in the presence or absence of serum, to survive cryopreservation was investigated in this experiment. Porcine oocytes were matured, fertilized and cultured in vitro using serum-free culture systems. Starting at Day 4 of in vitro embryo culture (Day 0 = fertilization), the culture medium was supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Embryos were cultured under these conditions until Day 6. Embryos cultured with only BSA supplementation served as serum-free controls. Day 6 blastocysts and expanded blastocysts of excellent quality were vitrified using the open pulled straw method. After warming, blastocysts were cultured in the presence of 10% FBS for an additional 18 h to recover. Portions of blastocysts from both groups, without cryopreservation, were also cultured under the same conditions to serve as non-vitrified controls. To further investigate the influence of FBS on the quality of embryos produced, the total cell numbers in Day 6 blastocysts from both groups were compared. In addition, the ratio of viable to total cells in fully recovered blastocysts at each group was examined. Blastocysts produced in the presence of FBS had an increased ability to survive cryopreservation and also had a higher cell number compared to those produced in serum-free systems (P < 0.05). The fully recovered blastocysts had a normal viable to total cell ratio, compared to non-vitrified controls. Overall, this experiment supports the hypothesis that serum supplementation during in vitro production of porcine embryos is beneficial to the ability of a blastocyst to survive cryopreservation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocyst / drug effects
  • Blastocyst / physiology*
  • Cell Survival
  • Cryopreservation / methods
  • Cryopreservation / veterinary*
  • Culture Media / pharmacology*
  • Embryo Culture Techniques / methods
  • Embryo Culture Techniques / veterinary*
  • Fertilization in Vitro / methods
  • Fertilization in Vitro / veterinary
  • Swine / embryology*


  • Culture Media