The human ovarian cortex contains mainly primordial and primary follicles. The ability to mature these follicles in vitro could be of great importance for infertility treatments. Fresh and frozen-thawed ovarian tissue was incubated with collagenase and DNase. Follicles with one layer or an incomplete second layer of granulosa cells were then dissected. The follicles were embedded in collagen gels and cultured with Earle's balanced salt solution, 10% fetal calf serum and 0.5 IU/ml follicle stimulating hormone. Increases in the number of granulosa cell layers and in oocyte size were observed in 40 and 38.7% of the follicles from fresh and frozen-thawed tissue respectively, during a 24 h culture period. All the growing follicles were surrounded by cellular outgrowths. Attempts to culture the follicles longer resulted in deterioration of the follicles and oocyte release. Since our study was purely morphological, further growth parameters, e.g. DNA synthesis, should be examined in the future.
- In vitro