Expression of Folliculogenesis-Related Genes in Vitrified Human Ovarian Tissue after Two Weeks In Vitro Culture

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biology and Anatomical Sciences, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

4 4Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


This study was designed to evaluate the effects of vitrification and in vitro culture of human ovarian tissue on the expression of oocytic and follicular cell-related genes.
Materials and Methods
In this experimental study, ovarian tissue samples were obtained from eight transsexual women. Samples were cut into small fragments and were then assigned to vitrified and non-vitrified groups. In each group, some tissue fragments were divided into un-cultured and cultured (in α-MEM medium for 2 weeks) subgroups. The normality of follicles was assessed by morphological observation under a light microscope using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. Expression levels of factor in the germ line alpha (FIGLA), KIT ligand (KL), growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF-9) and follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) genes were quantified in both groups by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) at the beginning and the end of culture.
The percentage of normal follicles was similar between non-cultured vitrified and non-vitrified groups (P > 0.05), however, cultured tissues had significantly fewer normal follicles than non-cultured tissues in both vitrified and non-vitrified groups (P < 0.05). In both cultured groups the rate of primary and secondary follicles was significantly higher than non-cultured tissues (P < 0.05). The expression of all examined genes was not significantly altered in both non-cultured groups. Whiles, in comparison with cultured tissues non-cultured tissues, the expression of FIGLA gene was significantly decreased, KL gene was not changed, GDF-9 and FSHR genes was significantly increased (P < 0.05).
Human ovarian vitrification following in vitro culture has no impairing effects on follicle normality and development and expression of related-genes. However, in vitro culture condition has deleterious effects on normality of follicles.