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Theriogenology. 2012 Jan 1;77(1):122-30, 130.e1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2011.07.024. Epub 2011 Aug 26.

Evaluation of zebrafish (Danio rerio) PGCs viability and DNA damage using different cryopreservation protocols.

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Indegsal and Department of Molecular Biology, University of León, León, Spain.


Cryopreservation of primordial germ cells (PGCs) is a better alternative for the conservation of the diploid genome in fish until embryo cryopreservation is achieved. A good cryopreservation protocol must guarantee high survival rates but also absence of genetic damage. In this study, a cell toxicity test using several internal and external cryoprotectants was carried out. The best combination of cryoprotectants (DMSO 5 mol/L, ethylene glicol (EG) 1 mol/L, polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) 4%) was used with and without antifreeze proteins (AFPs) at two different concentrations (10 mg/mL and 20 mg/mL) for cryopreservation trials. Different cryopreservation methods were used with single PGCs, genital ridges, and whole zebrafish embryos using cryovials, 0.5 mL straws, microcapsules, and microdrops. All embryos were obtained from the vasa EGFP zf45 transgenic line and viability was evaluated using trypan blue. High cell viability rates after cryopreservation in 0.5 mL straws were obtained (around 90%) and a decrease in viability was only observed when cells were cryopreserved in microcapsules and when AFP at 20 mg/mL was added to the freezing media. Genetic damage was determined by comet assay and was compared in cells cryopreserved in 0.5 mL straws and microcapsules (lowest viability rate). There were significantly more DNA strand breaks after cryopreservation in the cells cryopreserved without cryoprotectants and in those cryopreserved in microcapsules. Genetic damage in the cells cryopreserved with cryoprotectants in 0.5 mL straws was similar to fresh control samples, regardless of the concentration of AFP used. The decrease in PGC viability with the addition of AFP 20 mg/mL did not correlate with an increase in DNA damage. This study reported a successful method for zebrafish PGC cryopreservation that not only guarantees high cell survival but also the absence of DNA damage.

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