An investigation into the similarities and differences governing the cryopreservation success of koala (Phascolarctos cinereus: goldfuss) and common wombat (Vombatus ursinus: shaw) spermatozoa.

S.D. Johnston, C. MacCallum, D. Blyde, R. McClean, A. Lisle, W.V. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

this species is unlikely to be associated with F-actin induced plasma membrane inflexibility.The aim of this study was to determine the relative cryopreservation success of koala and wombat spermatozoa and to investigate reasons for their respective post-thaw survival by examining the sperm's response to a range of osmotic media and determining the presence and distribution of F-actin. An hypothesis was proposed that F-actin may be imparting a degree of structural inflexibility to the koala sperm plasma membrane; hence, exposure of spermatozoa to cytochalasin D (5 microM), a F-actin depolymerisation agent, should result in increased plasticisation of the membrane and greater tolerance of cell volume changes that typically occur during cryopreservation. In experiment 1, koala (n = 4) and wombat (n = 4) spermatozoa packaged in 0.25 mL straws were cryopreserved using two freezing rates (fast-3 cm above liquid N2 interface; slow-6 degrees C/min in a freezing chamber) and two glycerol concentrations (8 and 14% v/v) in a tris-citrate glucose buffer with 15% (v/v) egg yolk. Wombat spermatozoa showed better (P < 0.01) post-thaw survival (% motile, % intact plasma membranes, % decondensed sperm heads) than koala spermatozoa. When exposed to media of varying osmolality, koala spermatozoa were less tolerant (% intact plasma membrane) of hyper-osmotic conditions (920 and 1410 mOsmol/kg) than wombat spermatozoa. F-actin was localised using a monoclonal antibody but only found in the wombat sperm head. When koala and wombat spermatozoa were exposed to media of varying osmolality, cytochalasin D had no beneficial effect on sperm survival (% intact plasma membranes). This study has demonstrated that wombat spermatozoa are highly tolerant of cryopreservation when compared to koala sperm but that spermatozoa from both species show greatest post-thaw survival when frozen slowly in 14% glycerol. Koala sperm are also particularly susceptible to hyper-osmotic environments but lack of detectable F-actin in the koala spermatozoan suggests that poor cryopreservation success
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-228
Number of pages11
JournalCryobiology
Volume53
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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