Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Decoding mechanisms of loss of fertilization ability of cryopreserved mouse sperm

Cryopreservation of mouse sperm is an important technology for management of biomedical research resources. Dramatic progress has been made recently in the development of protocols that combat mouse-strain specific reduction of IVF after cryopreservation. Equal emphasis, however, has not been placed on investigating the biological mechanisms underlying these improvements to IVF. This dissertation broadly investigates the basic question of how mouse-strain specific reduction of IVF occurs after cryopreservation, and how recently developed protocols prevent this process. My research investigated the effects of antioxidants, the cholesterol-acceptor CD, reduced calcium media, and TYH capacitation media on sperm function and oxidative stress after cryopreservation in a variety of mouse strains. I found that reduced IVF was associated with loss of capacitation-dependent sperm function in three strains, B6/J, B6/N, and 129X1, and CD improved sperm function and IVF in all three strains. These findings suggest that cryopreservation inhibits cholesterol efflux resulting in reduced IVF of many mouse strains. I also found that cryopreservation induces uniquely high production of mitochondrial H2O2 by B6/J sperm. H2O2 present in other cellular compartments of B6/J sperm was not elevated compared to other strains. High levels of mitochondrial H2O2 were associated with lipid peroxidation of the sperm head and inability to acrosome react. Antioxidants reduced mitochondrial H2O2 production, decreased sperm head lipid peroxidation, and improved acrosome reaction. The cryopreservation-induced increase in mitochondrial H2O2 production of B6/J and B6129XF1 sperm was associated with elevation of intracellular calcium after cryopreservation and dependent on mitochondrial metabolic substrates. Reducing intracellular calcium levels or removing mitochondrial metabolic substrates decreased mitochondrial H2O2 production and increased IVF rates of cryopreserved B6/J sperm. Many of the strains I tested exhibited increased H2O2 production after cryopreservation, but cryopreservation-induced H2O2 only interfered with IVF of B6/J sperm. This dissertation describes two means to improve IVF of cryopreserved sperm, mitigation of oxidative stress in B6/J sperm and improvement of capacitation-dependent sperm function for several mouse strains.