(1/2910) Nuclear chromatin variations in human spermatozoa undergoing swim-up and cryopreservation evaluated by the flow cytometric sperm chromatin structure assay.

The sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) is a flow cytometric (FCM) technique which exploits the metachromatic properties of Acridine Orange to monitor the susceptibility of sperm chromatin DNA to in-situ acid denaturation. SCSA was used to study the chromatin structure variations of human spermatozoa in semen, both before and after swim-up and after cryopreservation. Semen samples were provided by 19 healthy normozoospermic subjects attending pre-marriage checks. Each sample was divided into three aliquots: the first aliquot was evaluated without further treatment, the second underwent swim-up, and the third was stored according to standard cryopreservation techniques in liquid nitrogen at -196 degrees C. Samples were also analysed by light and fluorescence microscopy (after Acridine Orange staining to evaluate the number of green fluorescent sperm heads), and by computer-assisted semen analysis. The results showed that post-rise spermatozoa represent a subpopulation characterized by a general improvement of the morphological (reduction of the percentage of abnormal forms and heads, increase of the green head sperm percentage) and kinetic parameters. This subpopulation also exhibited improved chromatin structure properties, confirming that these cells have the best structural and functional characteristics, indicative of optimal fertilizing ability. On the other hand, overall sperm quality deteriorates after cryopreservation. When thawed spermatozoa underwent an additional swim-up round, a general improvement of nuclear maturity was seen in the post-rise spermatozoa.  (+info)

(2/2910) Arterial damage induced by cryopreservation is irreversible following organ culture.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the present study was to investigate the changes which occur to the arterial wall following cryopreservation and thawing and to determine whether these changes are reversible after a week of culture in an organ bath. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Rat iliac arterial segments were cryopreserved. Once thawed, the arterial segments were cultured for a period of 0, 1, 2, 4 or 7 days. Freshly isolated rat iliac vessels cultured for 7 days served as the control group. Evaluation was made of ultrastructural changes, the expression of metalloproteinase activity (MMP-1, MMP-3 and MMP-9) and the apoptotic state of cells. RESULTS: The freezing-thawing process induced damage to the arterial segments compared to fresh control vessels. After 1 week of culture, arteries showed a high degree of tissue degeneration. Only a few individual endothelial cells remained on the luminal surface. There was a gradual increase in the proportion of apoptotic cells. The sequential expression of MMP-1 during the first 2 days and subsequent expression of MMP-3 and MMP-9 were of most significance. CONCLUSIONS: Cryopreservation induced damage to the vessels which could not be reversed by organ culture. The changes observed in the expression of metalloproteinases may be indicative of the degenerative process which occurs in the extracellular matrix.  (+info)

(3/2910) Effect of cryopreservation on cytochrome P-450 enzyme induction in cultured rat hepatocytes.

In the present study, we evaluated the inducibility of cytochrome P-450 (CYP) CYP1A, CYP2B, CYP3A, and CYP4A by beta-naphthoflavone, phenobarbital, dexamethasone, and clofibric acid, respectively, in primary hepatocyte cultures prepared from both fresh and cryopreserved rat hepatocytes. Rat hepatocytes were successfully thawed and cultured after cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen for up to 1 month. Percentage of total recovery, viable cell recovery, and final viability of the cells were 68%, 72%, and 85%, respectively. Regardless of whether they were cryopreserved or not, cultured hepatocytes exhibited near-normal morphology. Treatment of cryopreserved hepatocytes with beta-naphthoflavone caused an 8-fold increase in 7-ethoxyresorufin O-dealkylase (CYP1A1/2) activity, with an EC50 of 1.5 microM; treatment with phenobarbital caused a 26-fold increase in 7-pentoxyresorufin O-dealkylase (CYP2B1/2) activity, with an EC50 of 10 microM; treatment with dexamethasone caused a 10-fold increase in testosterone 6beta-hydroxylase (CYP3A1/2) activity, with an EC50 of 1.3 microM, whereas treatment with clofibric acid caused a 3-fold increase in lauric acid 12-hydroxylase (CYP4A1-3) activity, with an EC50 of 170 microM. The induction of CYP1A, CYP2B, CYP3A, and CYP4A enzymes by these inducers was confirmed by Western immunoblotting. The patterns of P-450 induction in cryopreserved rat hepatocytes, in terms of concentration response, reproducibility, magnitude, and specificity of response, were similar to those observed in freshly isolated hepatocytes. Additionally, the magnitude and specificity of induction was similar to that observed in vivo in rats. In conclusion, under the conditions examined, cryopreserved rat hepatocytes appear to be a suitable in vitro system for evaluating xenobiotics as inducers of P-450 enzymes.  (+info)

(4/2910) Binding of annexin V to plasma membranes of human spermatozoa: a rapid assay for detection of membrane changes after cryostorage.

When the cell membrane is disturbed, phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS) is translocated from the inner to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. This is one of the earliest signs of apoptosis and can be monitored by the calcium-dependent binding of annexin V. Therefore, annexin V-binding, in conjunction with flow cytometry, was used to evaluate the integrity of the sperm plasma membrane after different cryostorage protocols: i.e. 10% (v/v) glycerol; sperm maintenance medium (MM); freezing medium TEST yolk buffer (TYB); or cryostorage without protection (cryoshock). Using a combination of two fluorescent dyes, annexin V and propidium iodide (PI), led to three groups of spermatozoa being identified: (i) viable spermatozoa (annexin V-negative and PI-negative); (ii) dead spermatozoa (annexin V-positive and PI-positive); and (iii) cells with impaired but integer plasma membrane (annexin V-positive and PI-negative). The percentage of vital annexin V-negative spermatozoa increased significantly (P < 0.05) from spermatozoa treated by cryoshock (15.0+/-1.2%) to spermatozoa cryopreserved by TYB (26.6+/-2.2%) via cryopreservation by 10% (v/v) glycerol (19.9+/-1.6%) and by MM (22.2 1.8%) and was associated with the percentage of motile spermatozoa (17.6+/-3.4% by glycerol; 19.6+/-3.7% by MM and 22.6+/-3.9% by TYB; P = 0.0001). Of the spermatozoa, 12-22% were annexin V-positive even though they did not bind to PI, indicating viability before as well as after cryostorage. The percentage of vital annexin V-positive spermatozoa was significantly correlated with different sperm motility parameters (velocity straight linear, r = 0.601, P = 0.018; percentage of linearly motile spermatozoa: r = 0.549, P = 0.034). We, therefore, concluded that annexin V-binding is more sensitive in detecting a deterioration of membrane functions than PI staining, and that a considerable percentage of spermatozoa might have dysfunctional plasma membranes besides dead or moribund cells. Of the cryopreservation protocols tested, TYB yielded the most viable spermatozoa. Therefore, we advocate the use of the annexin V-binding assay for the evaluation of the quality and integrity of spermatozoa.  (+info)

(5/2910) Freezer anthropology: new uses for old blood.

Archived blood fractions (plasma, settled red cells, white cells) have proved to be a rich and valuable source of DNA for human genetic studies. Large numbers of such samples were collected between 1960 and the present for protein and blood group studies, many of which are languishing in freezers or have already been discarded. More are discarded each year because the usefulness of these samples is not widely understood. Data from DNA derived from 10-35-year-old blood samples have been used to address the peopling of the New World and of the Pacific. Mitochondrial DNA haplotypes from studies using this source DNA support a single wave of migration into the New World (or a single source population for the New World), and that Mongolia was the likely source of the founding population. Data from Melanesia have shown that Polynesians are recent immigrants into the Pacific and did not arise from Melanesia.  (+info)

(6/2910) Preparation of endometrium for egg donation.

Nowadays oocyte donation is a well established method of assisted reproduction and offers the unique opportunity to treat patients with various clinical indications, with or without ovarian function, in a novel way. In women with ovarian failure, artificial menstrual cycles are required before proceeding to oocyte donation. Oestrogen may be delivered in the form of oral tablets, transdermal patches in order to bypass the gastrointestinal tract thus avoiding first pass metabolism and by vaginal application. Our regimen is oestradiol valerate given in various concentrations, in order to mimic the regular cyclic fluctuations throughout the cycle. Progesterone may be administered in the form of oral tablets, intravaginal suppositories or rings and i.m. injections. Our results, as of most other groups, strongly support the vaginal route of progesterone administration. In women with retained ovarian function, synchronization of donor-recipient cycle presents a special problem, as there is strong evidence that a temporal window of maximal endometrial receptivity exists. Cryopreservation of donated embryos may be used to overcome the problem, but this approach has the important drawback of embryonic loss occurring after freezing and thawing. The method of choice is the administration of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonists (GnRHa) to render the patients functionally agonadal in order to circumvent cycle asynchrony between the donor and recipient.  (+info)

(7/2910) Turner's syndrome and pregnancies after oocyte donation.

A total of 20 clinical pregnancies was achieved among 18 women with Turner's syndrome who were treated in an oocyte donation programme. The oocytes were donated by voluntary unpaid donors. A mean of 1.8 embryos per transfer was given to each recipient by way of 28 fresh and 25 frozen embryo transfers. With fresh and frozen embryos, 13 and seven pregnancies respectively were achieved. The clinical pregnancy rate per fresh embryo transfer was 46%, and the implantation rate 30%, being similar to the corresponding rates among our oocyte recipients with primary ovarian failure in general. The corresponding rates with frozen embryos were 28 and 19%. Of these pregnancies, 40% ended in miscarriage. This high rate may be explained by uterine factors. Six women were hypertensive during pregnancy, a rate comparable with that in other oocyte donation pregnancies. All these women delivered by Caesarean section. Pregnancy and implantation rates after oocyte donation were high in women with Turner's syndrome, but the risk of cardiovascular and other complications is high. Careful assessment before and during follow-up of pregnancy are important. Transfer of only one embryo at a time to avoid the additional complications caused by twin pregnancy is recommended.  (+info)

(8/2910) Primitive hematopoietic progenitors within mobilized blood are spared by uncontrolled rate freezing.

Uncontrolled-rate freezing techniques represent an attractive alternative to controlled-rate cryopreservation procedures which are time-consuming and require high-level technical expertise. In this study, we report our experience using uncontrolled-rate cryopreservation and mechanical freezer storage at -140 degrees C. Twenty-eight PBPC samples (10 cryovials, 18 freezing bags) from 23 patients were cryopreserved in a cryoprotectant solution composed of phosphate-buffered saline (80%, v/v) supplemented with human serum albumin (10%, v/v) and dimethylsulfoxide (10%, v/v). The cryopreservation procedure required on average 1.5 h. The mean (+/- s.e.m.) storage time of cryovials and bags was 344+/-40 and 299+57 days, respectively. Although cell thawing was associated with a statistically significant reduction of the absolute number of nucleated cells (vials: 0.3x10(9) vs. 0.2x10(9), P< or =0.02; bags: 14x10(9) vs. 11x10(9), P< or =0.0003), the growth of committed progenitors was substantially unaffected by the freezing-thawing procedure, with mean recoveries of CFU-Mix, BFU-E, and CFU-GM ranging from 60+/- 29% to 134+/-15%. Mean recoveries of LTC-IC from cryovials and bags were 262+/-101% and 155+/-27% (P< or =0.2), respectively. In 14 out of 23 patients who underwent high-dose chemotherapy and PBPC reinfusion, the pre-and post-freezing absolute numbers of hematopoietic progenitors cryopreserved in bags were compared. A significant reduction was detected for CFU-Mix (11 vs. 7.4x10(5)), but no significant loss of BFU-E (180 vs. 150x10(5)), CFU-GM (400 vs. 290x10(5)) and LTC-IC (15 vs. 16x10(5)) could be demonstrated. When these patients were reinfused with uncontrolled-rate cryopreserved PBPC, the mean number of days to reach 1x10(9)/l white blood cells and 50x10(9)/l platelets were 9 and 13, respectively. In conclusion, the procedure described here is characterized by short execution time, allows a substantial recovery of primitive and committed progenitors and is associated with prompt hematopoietic recovery following myeloablative therapy even after long-term storage.  (+info)