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Cryobiology. 2009 Dec;59(3):268-74. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2009.08.002. Epub 2009 Aug 15.

Interactions among pre-cooling, cryoprotectant, cooling, and thawing for sperm cryopreservation in rhesus monkeys.

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California National Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


The present study evaluated the interactions among pre-cooling, cryoprotectant, cooling, and thawing for rhesus monkey sperm using a four-way factorial design. Specifically, pre-cooling and thawing were evaluated for two conditions: slow vs. fast. Cooling was evaluated at four rates of 5, 29, 200, and 400 degrees C/min. The types of cryoprotectant involved combinations of egg yolk and glycerol, egg yolk and ethylene glycol, and egg yolk alone without permeable cryoprotectants or buffer alone with glycerol but without egg yolk. Our findings showed strong interactions among cryoprotectants, cooling, and thawing rates, but not pre-cooling rate, on post-thaw motility and forward progression. The optimal combination of cooling and thawing for maximum post-thaw survival depended on the types of cryoprotectant. When glycerol was used as a permeable cryoprotectant in the presence of egg yolk, slow thawing yielded similar success as fast thawing in some males. However, when glycerol was replaced with ethylene glycol for the same treatment, post-thaw motility was significantly lower in samples that were thawed slowly than those that were thawed rapidly. In the absence of permeable cryoprotectant but the presence of egg yolk, fast cooling was always favorable. On the contrary, in the absence of egg yolk but the presence of permeable cryoprotectant (glycerol), post-thaw motility was significantly reduced especially when samples were thawed slowly. Generally, fast thawing was superior to slow thawing regardless of the types of cryoprotectant or cooling rates, and glycerol in the presence of egg yolk yielded the highest post-thaw motility in all treatment groups.

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