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  • 1 China Agricultural University College of Animal Science and Technology, and State Key Laboratories for Agrobiotechnology Beijing P.R. China
  • 2 Dujiangyan Campus of Sichuan Agricultural University Dujiangyan P.R. China
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The present study was designed to investigate the cryotolerance of in vitro fertilised (IVF) mouse embryos at various preimplantation developmental stages. IVF mouse embryos were vitrified by the open-pulled straw (OPS) method. After warming, embryos were morphologically evaluated and assessed by their development to blastocysts, hatched blastocysts or term. The results showed that a high proportion (93.3–100.0%) of vitrified embryos at all developmental stages were morphologically normal after recovery. The developmental rate of vitrified 1-cell embryos to blastocyst (40.0%) or hatched blastocyst (32.7%) or term (9.3%) was significantly lower than that from other stages (P < 0.05). Vitrified embryos from 2-cell to early blastocyst stage showed similar blastocyst (71.8–89.5%) and hatched blastocyst rates (61.1–69.6%) and could develop to term without a significant loss of survival compared with those of fresh embryos (P > 0.05). Vitrified 2-cell embryos showed the highest survival rate in vivo (50.6%, 88/174), compared with that from other stages (9.3–30.5%, P < 0.05). The data demonstrate that the OPS method is suitable for the cryopreservation of IVF mouse embryos from 2-cell stage to early blastocyst stage without a significant loss of survival. Embryos at the 2-cell stage had the best tolerance for cryopreservation in the present study.

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