Developing a clinical-grade cryopreservation protocol for human testicular tissue and cells

Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:930962. doi: 10.1155/2013/930962. Epub 2013 Jan 14.


Recent work in preservation of female fertility as well as new information on the nature of spermatogonial stem cells has prompted an investigation into the possibility of an effective clinical-grade procedure for the cryopreservation of testicular cells and/or tissue. Clinical-grade reagents, validated equipment, and protocols consistent with cGTP/cGMP standards were used in developing a procedure suitable for the safe and effective cryopreservation of human testicular cells and tissues. These procedures were designed to be compliant with the relevant FDA regulations. The procedure proved to effectively cryopreserve both testicular cells and tissue. The cryopreservation of testicular tissue was comparable in most aspects we measured to the cryopreservation of isolated cells, except that the viability of the cells from cryopreserved testicular tissue was found to be significantly higher. On the other hand, cryopreservation of cells is preferred for cell analysis, quality control, and sterility testing. This study demonstrates that testicular tissue and cells from sexual reassignment patients can be successfully cryopreserved with a clinical-grade procedure and important cell populations are not only preserved but also enriched by the process. Further studies will determine whether these findings from hormone-treated patients can be generalized to other patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Survival
  • Cryopreservation / methods*
  • Fertility
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Hormones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leydig Cells / pathology
  • Male
  • Spermatogonia / cytology
  • Testis / cytology*
  • Testis / pathology*


  • Hormones