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Title: Studies on cryopreservation of zebrafish (Danio rerio) oocytes using controlled slow cooling
Author: Plachynta, Maksym
Awarding Body: University of Bedfordshire
Current Institution: University of Bedfordshire
Date of Award: 2007
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Cryopreservation of fish germ cells has important applications in aquaculture, conservation of endangered species and human genomic studies. Although investigations on cryopreservation of fish sperm and embryos have been carried out extensively, cryopreservation of fish oocytes has not been studied systematically. The objective of the present study was to develop successful cryopreservation protocol for zebrafish oocytes at temperature of liquid nitrogen (-196°C), or if unachieved, to investigate the limiting factors associated with fish oocytes cryopreservation. In this study, the effects of cryoprotectants exposure and enzymatic treatments on oocytes survival were studied, and new viability tests for zebrafish oocytes were developed. The effects of controlled slow cooling with different cryoprotective agents, in different freezing media and at different cooling rates on cryosurvival of zebrafish (D. rerio) oocytes were investigated. Cryomicroscopic observations on zebrafish oocytes were also carried out. Three reliable vital tests -trypan blue (TB) staining, ATP assay, and in vitro maturation followed by germinal vesicle breakdown observation (GVBD) were found suitable for assessment of oocytes viability. Vitellogenesis (stage III) was found to be the optimal developmental stage for cryopreservation. Methanol was found to be the best CPA for zebrafish oocytes. Combination of 4M methanol and 0.2M glucose in potassium chloride (KCI) buffer was found to be the optimal cryoprotective solution. Controlled slow cooling at 0.3°C/min rate, combined with seeding at -12.5°C and plunge to liquid nitrogen (LN) at-40°C were found to be the optimal conditions for cryopreservation of stage III oocytes. However, even with the optimal protocol, TB-assessed viability, Le. the ratio of oocytes with intact plasma membrane after cooling to -196°C was 19.6±8%. Furthermore, GVBD experiments showed that none of the cryopreserved oocytes can be matured in vitro, and their ATP levels were decreased dramatically, indicating that successful cryopreservation of fish oocytes at liquid nitrogen temperature still remains elusive. Cryomicroscopic observations demonstrated, that the damages of oocytes are associated with intracellular ice formation (lIF). IIF occurred simultaneously with extracellular ice formation (ElF) in nearly 100% of the cases, and formation of lethal hexagonal type of ice was observed. This study was the first systematic attempt to cryopreserve fish oocytes at liquid nitrogen temperature. The results provided will undoubtedly assist successful protocol design for cryopreservation of fish oocytes in the future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: zebrafish ; Danio rerio ; oocytes ; cryopreservation ; oocyte cryopreservation