Scientists report the first live births in large mammals after using frozen ovarian tissue

July 02, 2001

Lausanne, Switzerland: French scientists have succeeded in using previously frozen ovarian tissue to produce live offspring in large mammals for the first time.

The team, led by Professor Bruno Salle and Dr Jacqueline Lornage of the Departement de Médecine de la Reproduction at the Hôpital Edouard Herriot in Lyon, reported that from six ewes there had been four pregnancies which had produced three live lambs, one lamb that died shortly after birth and two twins that died after a premature delivery.

Prof Salle and Dr Lornage told the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting at Lausanne today (Monday 2 July) that they believed this was the first report of live births in large mammals after using ovarian tissue which had been taken from the ewes, frozen and stored, then thawed and grafted back into the same sheep.

Prof Salle said: "These four pregnancies, after frozen ovarian autograft, give immense hope to women who become sterilised by cancer treatments. However we are not ready to try this technique in women yet, as first of all the procedure has to be repeated by ourselves and other researchers, and secondly, we need to discover how long the ovarian graft continues to function."

Prof Salle and his team removed one ovary from each ewe, cut it in half and froze each piece down to -1960C. They were then stored in liquid nitrogen for between one and three months. He said: "The hemi ovarian autografts could be stored for longer if necessary." When they were ready to graft the ovarian pieces back into the ewes they thawed the fragments, incubated them for 30 minutes and then carried out the autograft.

Two to four months after the autografts, tests indicated that the ovaries were functioning normally again, and in the summer of 2000 four of the ewes became pregnant. None of the resulting births has shown any malformations, and Prof Salle believes that it was simply due to chance that three of the lambs died.

This research offers the hope that in the future women who have to undergo treatment for cancer which could damage their ovaries (e.g. chemotherapy or radiotherapy) could opt to have ovarian tissue removed before their treatment and then grafted back again afterwards when they wished to have babies.

Abstract no: O-014
-end-
Further information: Margaret Willson, information officer, Tel: 44-0-1536-772181, Mobile: 7973-853347; Emma Mason, information officer, Tel: 44-0-1376-563090, Mobile: 07711-296986, Email: m.willson@mwcommunications.org.uk or Email: wordmason@aol.com.

Press Office: (Sunday 1 July -Wednesday 4 July) Margaret Willson, Emma Mason, Janet Blümli, Tel: 41-21-643-33-33 or 41-21-643-33-23; Fax: 41-21-643-33-28.

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

Related Ovarian Tissue Articles from Brightsurf:

Women could conceive after ovarian tumors
Women receiving fertility-sparing surgery for treatment of borderline ovarian tumours were able to have children, a study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in Fertility & Sterility shows.

Photodynamic therapy used to treat ovarian cancer
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is one of the most promising methods of treating localized tumors.

Studying the development of ovarian cancer with organoids
Researchers from the group of Hans Clevers at the Hubrecht Institute have modeled the development and progression of high-grade serous ovarian cancer in mini-versions, or organoids, of the female reproductive organs of the mouse.

The first roadmap for ovarian aging
Infertility likely stems from age-related decline of the ovaries, but the molecular mechanisms that lead to this decline have been unclear.

A 'one-two punch' to wipe out cancerous ovarian cells
Researchers from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) have developed a two-step combination therapy to destroy cancer cells.

New class of drugs could treat ovarian cancer
A team of researchers across the University of Manchester have shown that a new class of drugs are able to stop ovarian cancer cells growing.

How to catch ovarian cancer earlier
Ovarian cancer is often diagnosed too late for effective treatment.

New compound could help treat ovarian cancer
Scientists from the University of Sheffield have discovered a compound that could be more effective in treating certain cancers than standard chemotherapy.

Ovarian cysts should be 'watched' rather than removed
Women may not need to undergo surgery for non-cancerous ovarian cysts, avoiding potential surgical complications.

Less surveillance needed for simple ovarian cysts
Simple ovarian cysts are extremely common in women and do not require additional ultrasound surveillance or surgical removal, according to a new study of more than 72,000 women and close to 119,00 pelvic ultrasound exams over a dozen years.

Read More: Ovarian Tissue News and Ovarian Tissue Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.