4 years ago

Healthy offspring from freeze-dried mouse spermatozoa held on the International Space Station for 9 months [Agricultural Sciences]

Healthy offspring from freeze-dried mouse spermatozoa held on the International Space Station for 9 months [Agricultural Sciences]
Hiroaki Nagatomo, Toru Shimazu, Teruhiko Wakayama, Kaori Yamanaka, Fumitoshi Ishino, Sayaka Wakayama, Motoki N. Tada, Aiko Nagamatsu, Hiromi Suzuki, Sachiko Yano, Eiji Mizutani, Yuko Kamada, Satoshi Kamimura, Takashi Kohda, Ikuko Osada

If humans ever start to live permanently in space, assisted reproductive technology using preserved spermatozoa will be important for producing offspring; however, radiation on the International Space Station (ISS) is more than 100 times stronger than that on Earth, and irradiation causes DNA damage in cells and gametes. Here we examined the effect of space radiation on freeze-dried mouse spermatozoa held on the ISS for 9 mo at –95 °C, with launch and recovery at room temperature. DNA damage to the spermatozoa and male pronuclei was slightly increased, but the fertilization and birth rates were similar to those of controls. Next-generation sequencing showed only minor genomic differences between offspring derived from space-preserved spermatozoa and controls, and all offspring grew to adulthood and had normal fertility. Thus, we demonstrate that although space radiation can damage sperm DNA, it does not affect the production of viable offspring after at least 9 mo of storage on the ISS.

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