Dextran vitrification media prevents mucin coat and zona pellucida damage in rabbit embryo.
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Vitrification of embryos is being increasingly important for cryopreservation in mammals. However, damage and toxicity has to be reduced even more. The composition of cryoprotective medium used to immerse the embryos affects viability and developmental potential. The aim of this work was to assess the effect of the Polyvinylalcohol-PVA- and Dextran addition to vitrification media on the in vitro development of rabbit embryos from superovulated and non-superovulated females. Superovulation group were treated intramuscularly with 25 IU rhFSH. The vitrification media contained the same permeable cryoprotectans (Ethylene Glycol-ET- and Dimethyl Sulfoxide-Me₂SO-) and different macromolecules (PVA and Dextran) in different combinations. There was a significantly higher proportion of embryos without damages in mucin coat or zona pellucida after warming (undamaged embryos) in the control than in the superovulation group (95.8% vs. 83.2%, respectively). The proportion of undamaged embryos was significantly affected by the vitrification solution composition. The rate of undamaged embryos after warming in media containing 20% Me₂SO was significantly lower in media supplemented with PVA than in media with dextran (67.3 vs. 93.8, respectively). However, the proportion of undamaged embryos for the medium supplemented with dextran was similar for media with 15 or 20% Me₂SO. In conclusion, the addition of dextran to the vitrification media improve the preservation of rabbit embryos and permits to reduce the amount of Me₂SO for vitrification. Additionally, in vitro developmental ability of undamaged embryos were not affected by superovulation treatment nor vitrification media.