Vitrification is a physical process in which the concentrated cryoprotectant solution after exposure to extreme cold without ice crystal formation in living cells to be converted glassing state. In this study, maturation rate and ultrastructure of mouse oocytes followed by vitrification before or after in-vitro maturation (IVM) were evaluated. A total of 373 germinal vesicle oocytes were obtained from ovaries and divided into three fresh IVM, IVM vitrified, vitrified IVM groups. Ten metaphase II oocytes were obtained from uterine tubes and considered as the control group. Oocytes in vitrified groups were vitrified by Cryotop using vitrification medium and kept in liquid nitrogen. The maturation media was a-MEM supplemented with rFSH + hCG. After 24-48 h of incubation, the oocytes were investigated for nuclear maturation and ultrastructural changes using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The oocyte maturation rate in vIVM group was significantly lower than IVMv group, when the two groups were compared with vIVM had the highest maturity. The evaluation ultrastructure of the four groups showed that the number of cortical granules, microvilli and mitochondria-SER aggregates in vIVM group were lowest and the highest amongst the number of vacuoles. Zona pellucida was darker than the control group in two freeze groups vIVM and IVMv. Most similar groups to the control group were group vIVM, Group IVMv and ultimately vIVM group, respectively. According to the results, IVM procedure is more efficient when it is performed before oocyte vitrification.
KEY WORDS: Vitrification; Fertility preservation; Cryopreservation; In Vitro Maturation; Ultrastructure.