Update on oogenesis in vitro

Fabbri R, Zamboni C, Vicenti R, Macciocca M, Paradisi R, Seracchioli R

Minerva Ginecologica. 2018 Jul 10.


INTRODUCTION: Ovarian tissue is increasingly being collected from cancer patients and cryopreserved for fertility preservation. Alternately to the autologous transplantation, the development of culture systems that support oocyte development from the primordial follicle stage represent a valid strategy to restore fertility. The aim of this study is to review the most recent data regarding oogenesis in vitro and to provide an up-to-date on the contemporary knowledge of follicle growth and development in vitro.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A comprehensive systematic MEDLINE search was performed since February 2018 for English-language reports by using the following terms: “ovary,” “animal and human follicle,” “in vitro growth and development,” “ovarian tissue culture,” “fertility preservation,” “IVM,” “oocyte.” Previous published reviews and recent published original articles were preferred in order to meet our study scope.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Over time, many studies have been conducted with the aim to optimize the characteristics of ovarian tissue culture systems and to better support the three main phases: i) activation of primordial follicles; ii) isolation and culture of growing preantral follicles; iii) removal from the follicle environment and maturation of oocyte cumulus complexes. While complete oocyte in vitro development has been achieved in mouse, with the production of live offspring, the goal of obtaining oocytes of sufficient quality to support embryo development has not been completely reached into higher mammals despite decades of effort.

CONCLUSIONS: Over the years, many improvements have been made on ovarian tissue cultures with the future purpose that patients will be provided with a greater number of developmentally competent oocytes for fertility preservation.