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Cryopreservation of immature porcine testis tissue to maintain its developmental potential after xenografting into recipient mice

Abrishami, M., Anzar, M., Yang, Y., Honaramooz, A.
Theriogenology 2010 v.73 no.1 pp. 86-96
mice, piglets, testes, animal tissues, cryopreservation, xenotransplantation, testicular development, dimethyl sulfoxide, glycerol, ethylene glycol, immunosuppression (physiological), animal morphology, viability, spermatogenesis, spermatids
The purpose of this study was to develop effective strategies for cooling and cryopreservation of immature porcine testis tissue that maintain its developmental potential. Testes from 1-wk-old piglets (Sus domestica) were subjected to 1 of 12 cooling/cryopreservation protocols: as intact testes, cooling at 4°C for 24, 48, or 72h (Experiment 1); as fragments, programmed slow-freezing with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), glycerol, or ethylene glycol (Experiment 2); or solid-surface vitrification using DMSO, glycerol, or ethylene glycol, each using 5-, 15-, or 30-min cryoprotectant exposure times (Experiment 3). For testis tissue xenografting, four immunodeficient recipient mice were assigned to each protocol, and each mouse received eight grafts. Recipient mice were killed 16 wk after grafting to assess the status of graft development. Based on morphology and in vitro assessment of cell viability, cooling of testis tissue for up to 72h maintained structural integrity, cell viability, in vivo growth, and developmental potential up to complete spermatogenesis comparable with that of fresh tissue (control). In frozen-thawed testis tissues, higher numbers of viable cells were present after programmed slow-freezing using glycerol compared with that after DMSO or ethylene glycol (P<0.001). Among the vitrified groups, exposure to DMSO for 5min yielded numerically higher viable cell numbers than that of other groups. Cryopreserved tissue fragments recovered after xenografting had normal spermatogenesis; germ cells advanced to round and elongated spermatids after programmed slow-freezing using glycerol, as well as after vitrification using glycerol with 5- or 15-min exposures, or using DMSO for a 5-min exposure.