Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Dry storage of sperm: applications in primates and domestic animals

Stuart A. Meyers
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

Department of Anatomy, Physiology, and Cell Biology, School of Veterinary Medicine, 1 Shields Ave, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Email: smeyers@ucdavis.edu

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 18(2) 1-5 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD05116
Submitted: 21 September 2005  Accepted: 21 September 2005   Published: 14 December 2005

Abstract

Cryopreservation of spermatozoa, oocytes and embryos, as well as somatic cells or cell lines for cloning from cells, are all options for the long-term storage of unique genotypes and endangered species. Spermatozoal cryopreservation and storage currently require liquid nitrogen or ultralow refrigeration-based methods for long- or short-term storage, which requires routine maintenance and extensive space requirements. The preservation of stem cells also has strict requirements for long-term storage to maintain genetic integrity. Dessicated (lyopreserved) sperm and stem cells will provide an unprecedented type of long-term storage without the need for expensive and burdensome cryogenic conditions. Experiments were conducted to determine an effective intracellular concentration of the lyoprotectant trehalose. High-pressure liquid chromatography studies revealed that trehalose can be incorporated into mature sperm cells as well as spermatogonial stem cells from rhesus monkeys. In addition, using fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, we determined that thermotropic phase transitions for fresh ejaculates from rhesus monkey and stallion sperm occurred at 10–15, 33–37 and 55–59°C. Preliminary studies in our laboratory have indicated that spermatogonial stem cells can be dried to <3 g g-1 water and maintain viability following rehydration. Studies in our laboratory have provided preliminary results suggesting that the desiccated storage of sperm and spermatogonial stem cells may be a viable alternative to conventional cryopreservation.


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