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Free Content Vitrification of zebrafish embryo blastomeres in microvolumes

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Cryopreservation of fish embryos may play an important role in biodiversity preservation and in aquaculture, but it is very difficult. In addition, the cryopreservation of fish embryo blastomeres makes conservation strategies feasible when they are used in germ-line chimaerism, including interspecific chimaerism. Fish embryo blastomere cryopreservation has been achieved by equilibrium procedures, but to our knowledge, no data on vitrification procedures are available. In the present work, zebrafish embryo blastomeres were successfully vitrified in microvolumes: A number of 0.25 l drops, sufficient to contain all the blastomeres of an embryo at blastula stage (from 1000-cell stage to Oblong stage), were placed over a 2.5cm loop of nylon filament. In this procedure, where intracellular cryoprotectant permeation is not required, blastomeres were exposed to cryoprotectants for a maximum of 25 sec prior vitrification. The assayed cryoprotectants (ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, dimethyl sulphoxide, glycerol and methanol) are all frequently used in fish embryo and blastomere cryopreservation. Methanol was finally rejected because of the excessive concentration required for the vitrification (15M). All other cryoprotectants were prepared (individually) at 5 M in Hanks' buffered salt solution (Sigma) plus 20% FBS (vitrification solutions: VS).

After direct thawing in Hanks' buffered salt solution plus 20% FBS, acceptable survival rates were obtained with ethylene glycol: 82.8%, propylene glycol: 87.7%, dimethyl sulphoxide: 93.4%, and glycerol: 73.9% (P <0.05). Dimethyl sulphoxide showed the highest blastomere survival rate and allowed the rescue of as much as 20% of the total blastomeres from each zebrafish blastula embryo.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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  • CryoLetters is a bimonthly international journal for low temperature sciences, including cryobiology, cryopreservation or vitrification of cells and tissues, chemical and physical aspects of freezing and drying, and studies involving ecology of cold environments, and cold adaptation

    The journal publishes original research reports, authoritative reviews, technical developments and commissioned book reviews of studies of the effects produced by low temperatures on a wide variety of scientific and technical processes, or those involving low temperature techniques in the investigation of physical, chemical, biological and ecological problems.

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