Controlled Stress Improves Oocyte Performance – Cell Preconditioning in Assisted Reproduction


Author’s address (for correspondence): C Pribenszky, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent István University, István u. 2., 1078 Budapest, Hungary. E-mail:


A recently emerged concept utilizing a controlled environmental impact as a treatment for cells and tissues aims to improve neither the in vitro conditions nor the procedures, but the cell itself. Hydrostatic pressure stress emerged as the most controllable and most effective stressor, proving the principle that controlled stress improves cell performance in in vitro procedures, whereas further studies using different stressors (osmotic, oxidative or mechanic stresses) supported the principle. The present summary reviews studies of various stress treatments to treat oocytes of three species (murine, porcine, human) before vitrification, in vitro maturation, enucleation and somatic cell nuclear transfer. Eventually, cleavage and blastocyst rates and – in cases when hydrostatic pressure was used – blastocyst cell number and birth rates as well were significantly improved compared to untreated controls.