The aim of the present investigations was to test a novel technology comprising cryoprotectant-free vitrification of the spermatozoa of rainbow trout and to study the ability of sucrose and components of seminal plasma to protect these cells from cryoinjuries. Spermatozoa were isolated and vitrified using five different mediums: Group 1: standard buffer for fish spermatozoa, Cortland(®)-medium (CM, control); Group 2: CM+1% bovine serum albumin (BSA); Group 3: CM+1% BSA+0.125 M sucrose; Group 4: CM+1% BSA+40% seminal plasma; and Group 5: CM+1% BSA+40% seminal plasma+0.125 M sucrose. For cooling, 20 μL suspensions of cells from each group were dropped directly into liquid nitrogen. For warming, the spheres containing the cells were quickly submerged in CM+1% BSA at 37 °C with gentle agitation. The quality of spermatozoa before and after vitrification was analysed by the evaluation of motility, cytoplasmic membrane integrity (SYBR-14/propidium iodide staining technique), and mitochondrial membrane integrity (JC-1 staining). Motility (86%, 71%, 80%, 81%, and 82%, for Groups 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, respectively) and cytoplasmic membrane integrity (90%, 82%, 83%, 84%, and 87%, respectively) of spermatozoa in all the 5 groups were not decreased significantly. All tested solutions can be used for vitrification of fish spermatozoa with good post-warming motility and cytoplasmic membrane integrity. However, mitochondrial membrane potentials of the spermatozoa in Groups 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 were changed significantly (6%, 50%, 37%, 55%, and 34%, respectively) (P(1,2,3,4,5)<0.001; P(2,3,4,5) <0.01)(P(3-5)>0.1). This rate was maximal in Group 4 (CM+1% BSA+40% seminal plasma). In conclusion, this is the first report about successful cryoprotectant-free cryopreservation of fish spermatozoa by direct plunging into liquid nitrogen (vitrification). Vitrification of fish spermatozoa without permeable cryoprotectants is a prospective direction for investigations: these cells can be successfully vitrified with 1% BSA+40% seminal plasma without significant loss of important physiological parameters.
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