Numerous genetically engineered rat strains have been produced via genome editing. Although freezing of embryos is helpful for the production and storage of these valuable strains, the tolerance to freezing of embryos varies at each developmental stage of the embryo. This study examined the tolerance to freezing of rat embryos at various developmental stages, particularly at the pronuclear stage. Embryos that had developed to the pronuclear, 2-cell, and morula stages were frozen via vitrification using ethylene glycol- and propylene glycol-based solutions. More than 90% of the embryos at all developmental stages survived after warming. The developmental rates to offspring of thawed embryos at the pronuclear, 2-cell, and morula stages were 19%, 41%, and 52%, respectively. Pronuclear stage embryos between the early and late developmental stages were then vitrified. The developmental rates to offspring of the thawed pronuclear stage embryos collected at 24, 28, and 31 h after the induction of ovulation were 17%, 21%, and 23%, respectively. These results indicated that the tolerance to vitrification of rat embryos increased with the development of embryos. The establishment of vitrification method of rat embryos at various developmental stages is helpful for improving the production and storage of valuable rat strains used for biomedical science.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes