- Nuclear transfer of an oocyte into the cytoplasm of another enucleated oocyte has shown that embryogenesis and implantation are influenced by cytoplasmic factors. We report a case of a 30-year-old nulligravida woman who had two failed IVF cycles characterized by all her embryos arresting at the two-cell stage and ultimately had pronuclear transfer using donor oocytes. After her third IVF cycle, eight out of 12 patient oocytes and 12 out of 15 donor oocytes were fertilized. The patient's pronuclei were transferred subzonally into an enucleated donor cytoplasm resulting in seven reconstructed zygotes.
- An oocyte is a unique body cell that is developmentally committed to support fertilization and early embryonic development (Hosseini et al., 2012). This capacity strongly depends on the cellular and molecular aspects of nucleo-cytoplasmic interactions, which facilitate early mitotic divisions of the embryo until broad embryonic genome activation (Sirard, 2012). During vitrification, this highly organized structure often incurs serious damage which inevitably affects its capacity to respond to subsequent treatment (Smith et al., 2011).
- When infertile women undergoing IVF or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) have more than 20 mature oocytes retrieved, at least 15 oocytes are inseminated by their husband’s spermatozoa. The extra oocytes are cryopreserved by vitrification. If the patients became pregnant and have healthy live births, the patients are encouraged to donate their remaining cryopreserved oocytes. Forty-seven egg-sharing donors were recruited after having normal deliveries and they donated their remaining oocytes, totalling 395 cryopreserved oocytes, to 75 recipients.
- Oocyte cryopreservation still bears the experimental label. Remarkable innovation in this field has led to immense improvement in clinical outcomes and has even resulted in outcomes comparable to those achieved following fresh embryo transfers. Such success has prompted this centre to investigate outcomes of cryopreservation options (oocyte versus pronuclear zygote versus supernumerary day-5 blastocyst after fresh embryo transfer). This study retrospectively analysed 200 cryopreservation cycles which were divided into three groups according to cryopreservation option, which were all cultured to blastocyst-stage post thaw/warming from January 2005 to December 2008, and compared them with 400 fresh embryo transfer cycles from the same time period.
- Oocyte development is the end result of a sophisticated biological process that is hormonally regulated and produced by highly specialized cellular lines that differentiate in early embryo/fetal development. Embryo development is initially regulated by maternal transcripts until replaced by embryonic genomic expression. Then, an assortment of hormones and local environmental factors in various concentrations along the reproductive tract (e.g. fallopian tube, endometrial lining) provide the protection, nutrients and means of communication for the embryo to implant and develop.