The use of flow cytometry in the evaluation of cell viability of cryopreserved sperm of the marine shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei)

Cryobiology. 2004 Jun;48(3):349-56. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2004.03.003.


Although the cryopreservation of penaeid prawn sperm or embryos has definite applications in the aquaculture industry, there is no protocol routinely used for this procedure. One of the main problems relies on the limitations for the determination of sperm cell viability. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity and cryoprotectant effect of four agents, at three different concentrations, in sperm suspension, spermatic mass, and complete spermatophore of the marine shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. Cells were frozen by fast and slow cooling rates. After thawing, they were analyzed by optical microscopy and flow cytometry, which was also utilized to determine spermatic viability by DNA staining with propidium iodine. Considering viability by morphotype analysis, the best result was obtained when the spermatic mass was frozen by slow cooling rate in the presence of methanol (61.6%). There was a positive correlation between morphotype analysis and flow cytometry, although the percentage of viable cells was always lower when determined by the later. These results show that flow cytometry is a valuable tool to evaluate sperm cell viability in decapod species and it is more sensitive technique than optical microscopy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cryopreservation / methods*
  • Cryoprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / pharmacology
  • Ethylene Glycol / pharmacology
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glycerol / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Methanol / pharmacology
  • Penaeidae*
  • Semen Preservation / methods*
  • Time Factors


  • Cryoprotective Agents
  • Ethylene Glycol
  • Glycerol
  • Methanol
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide