3 years ago

Ice nucleating agents allow embryo freezing without manual seeding

Embryo slow freezing protocols include a nucleation induction step called manual seeding. This step is time consuming, manipulator dependent and hard to standardize. It requires access to samples, which is not always possible within the configuration of systems, such as differential scanning calorimeters or cryomicroscopes. Ice nucleation can be induced by other methods, e.g., by the use of ice nucleating agents. Snomax is a commercial preparation of inactivated proteins extracted from Pseudomonas syringae. The aim of our study was to investigate if Snomax can be an alternative to manual seeding in the slow freezing of mouse embryos. The influence of Snomax on the pH and osmolality of the freezing medium was evaluated. In vitro development (blastocyst formation and hatching rates) of fresh embryos exposed to Snomax and embryo cryopreserved with and without Snomax was assessed. The mitochondrial activity of frozen-thawed blastocysts was assessed by JC-1 fluorescent staining. Snomax didn't alter the physicochemical properties of the freezing medium, and did not affect embryo development of fresh embryos. After cryopreservation, the substitution of manual seeding by the ice nucleating agent (INA) Snomax did not affect embryo development or embryo mitochondrial activity. In conclusion, Snomax seems to be an effective ice nucleating agent for the slow freezing of mouse embryos. Snomax can also be a valuable alternative to manual seeding in research protocols in which manual seeding cannot be performed (i.e., differential scanning calorimetry and cryomicroscopy).

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0093691X17303977

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