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Sperm cryopreservation: A review on current molecular cryobiology and advanced approaches

Published:August 22, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2018.05.012

      Abstract

      The cryopreservation of spermatozoa was introduced in the 1960s as a route to fertility preservation. Despite the extensive progress that has been made in this field, the biological and biochemical mechanisms involved in cryopreservation have not been thoroughly elucidated to date. Various factors during the freezing process, including sudden temperature changes, ice formation and osmotic stress, have been proposed as reasons for poor sperm quality post-thaw. Little is known regarding the new aspects of sperm cryobiology, such as epigenetic and proteomic modulation of sperm and trans-generational effects of sperm freezing. This article reviews recent reports on molecular and cellular modifications of spermatozoa during cryopreservation in order to collate the existing understanding in this field. The aim is to discuss current freezing techniques and novel strategies that have been developed for sperm protection against cryo-damage, as well as evaluating the probable effects of sperm freezing on offspring health.

      Keywords

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      Biography

      Abdolhossein Shahverdi is Professor of Embryology and scientific director of the Sperm Biology Group at the Royan Institute in Tehran. His main research interests are fertility preservation, reproductive epigenetic and germ cell biology. With over 20 years’ experience in reproductive biology, he has published more than 120 international scientific papers.