Transcriptome analysis reveals that fertilization with cryopreserved sperm downregulates genes relevant for early embryo development in the horse.
ABSTRACT: Artificial insemination with cryopreserved spermatozoa is a major assisted reproductive technology in many species. In horses, as in humans, insemination with cryopreserved sperm is associated with lower pregnancy rates than those for fresh sperm, however, direct effects of sperm cryopreservation on the development of resulting embryos are largely unexplored. The aim of this study was to investigate differences in gene expression between embryos resulting from fertilization with fresh or cryopreserved sperm. Embryos were obtained at 8, 10 or 12 days after ovulation from mares inseminated post-ovulation on successive cycles with either fresh sperm or frozen-thawed sperm from the same stallion, providing matched embryo pairs at each day. RNA was isolated from two matched pairs (4 embryos) for each day, and cDNA libraries were built and sequenced. Significant differences in transcripts per kilobase million (TPM) were determined using (i) genes for which the expression difference between treatments was higher than 99% of that in the random case (P < 0.01), and (ii) genes for which the fold change was ? 2, to avoid expression bias in selection of the candidate genes. Molecular pathways were explored using the DAVID webserver, followed by network analyses using STRING, with a threshold of 0.700 for positive interactions. The transcriptional profile of embryos obtained with frozen-thawed sperm differed significantly from that for embryos derived from fresh sperm on all days, showing significant down-regulation of genes involved in biological pathways related to oxidative phosphorylation, DNA binding, DNA replication, and immune response. Many genes with reduced expression were orthologs of genes known to be embryonic lethal in mice. This study, for the first time, provides evidence of altered transcription in embryos resulting from fertilization with cryopreserved spermatozoa in any species. As sperm cryopreservation is commonly used in many species, including human, the effect of this intervention on expression of developmentally important genes in resulting embryos warrants attention.
Project description:Although sperm preservation is a common means of personal fertility preservation, its effects on embryonic development potential need further investigation. The purpose of this study was to identify key microRNA (miRNA) in cryopreserved sperm and determine the changes of these miRNAs and their target genes during embryonic development using cryopreserved sperm. Moreover, the embryonic development potential of cryopreserved sperm was estimated in assisted reproductive technology (ART), where key miRNAs and target genes were validated in sperm and subsequent embryos. Clinical data of embryonic development from cryopreserved sperm indicated a significant decrease in fertilization rate in both <i>in vitro</i> fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cases, as well as a reduction in blastocyst formation rate in ICSI cases. Meanwhile there was a significant increase in blocked embryo ratio of Day1, Day2, and Day3.5 embryos when frozen-thawed mouse sperm was used, compared with fresh mouse sperm, suggesting a potential negative effect of sperm cryopreservation on embryonic development. From frozen-thawed and fresh sperm in humans and mice, respectively, 21 and 95 differentially expressed miRNAs (DEmiRs) were detected. miR-148b-3p were downregulated in both human and mouse frozen-thawed sperm and were also decreased in embryos after fertilization using cryopreserved sperm. Target genes of miR-148b-3p, Pten, was identified in mouse embryos using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blot (WB). In addition, common characters of cryopreservation of mouse oocytes compared with sperm were also detected; downregulation of miR-148b-3p was also confirmed in cryopreserved oocytes. In summary, our study suggested that cryopreservation of sperm could change the expression of miRNAs, especially the miR-148b-3p across humans and mice, and may further affect fertilization and embryo development by increasing the expression of Pten. Moreover, downregulation of miR-148b-3p induced by cryopreservation was conserved in mouse gametes.
Project description:Sperm cryopreservation and artificial insemination are important methods for giant panda breeding and preservation of extant genetic diversity. Lower conception rates limit the use of artificial insemination with frozen-thawed giant panda sperm, due to the lack of understanding of the cryodamaging or cryoinjuring mechanisms in cryopreservation. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are involved in regulating spermatogenesis. However, their roles during cryopreservation remain largely unexplored. Therefore, this study aimed to identify differentially expressed lncRNAs and mRNAs associated with cryodamage or freeze tolerance in frozen-thawed sperm through high throughput sequencing. A total of 61.05 Gb clean reads and 22,774 lncRNA transcripts were obtained. From the sequencing results, 1477 significantly up-regulated and 1,396 significantly down-regulated lncRNA transcripts from fresh and frozen-thawed sperm of giant panda were identified. GO and KEGG showed that the significantly dysregulated lncRNAs and mRNAs were mainly involved in regulating responses to cold stress and apoptosis, such as the integral component of membrane, calcium transport, and various signaling pathways including PI3K-Akt, p53 and cAMP. Our work is the first systematic profiling of lncRNA and mRNA in fresh and frozen-thawed giant panda sperm, and provides valuableinsights into the potential mechanism of cryodamage in sperm.
Project description:Artificial insemination with cryopreserved semen is a well-developed technique commonly used for controlled reproduction in cattle. However, despite current technical advances, cryopreservation continues to damage bull spermatozoa, resulting in a loss of approximately 30 to 50% of viable spermatozoa post thawing. To further improve the efficiency of cryopreservation of bull spermatozoa, understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the cryobiological properties that affect cryoinjuries during cryopreservation process of bull spermatozoa is required. In this study, we examined the expression and localization of aquaporin (AQP) 3 and AQP7 in fresh, cooled, and frozen-thawed bull spermatozoa. Furthermore, we investigated the relevance of AQP3 and AQP7 to motility and to membrane integrity in frozen-thawed bull spermatozoa. Western blotting against AQP3 and AQP7 in bull spermatozoa revealed bands with molecular weights of approximately 42 kDa and 53 kDa, respectively. In immunocytochemistry analyses, immunostaining of AQP3 was clearly observed in the principal piece of the sperm tail. Two immunostaining patterns were observed for AQP7 -pattern 1: diffuse staining in head and entire tail, and pattern 2: diffuse staining in head and clear staining in mid-piece. Cooling and freeze-thawing did not affect the localization pattern of AQP7 and the relative abundances of AQP3 and AQP7 evaluated by Western blotting. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the relative abundances of AQP3 and AQP7 varied among ejaculates, and they were positively related to sperm motility, particularly sperm velocity, post freeze-thawing. Our findings suggest that AQP3 and AQP7 are possibly involved in the tolerance to freeze-thawing in bull spermatozoa, particularly in the sperm's tail.
Project description:Due to lower farrowing rate and reduced litter size with frozen-thawed semen, over 90% of artificial insemination (AI) is conducted using liquid stored boar semen. Although substantial progress has been made towards optimizing the cryopreservation protocols for boar sperm, the influencing factors and underlying mechanisms related to cryoinjury and freeze tolerance of boar sperm remain largely unknown. In this study, we report the differential expression of mRNAs and miRNAs between fresh and frozen-thawed boar sperm using high-throughput RNA sequencing. Our results showed that 567 mRNAs and 135 miRNAs were differentially expressed (DE) in fresh and frozen-thawed boar sperm. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses revealed that the majority of DE mRNAs were enriched in environmental information processing such as cytokine-cytokine receptor interactions, PI3K-Akt signaling, cell adhesion, MAPK, and calcium signaling pathways. Moreover, the targets of DE miRNAs were enriched in significant GO terms such as cell process, protein binding, and response to stimuli. In conclusion, we speculate that DE mRNAs and miRNAs are heavily involved in boar sperm response to environment stimuli, apoptosis, and metabolic activities. The differences in expression also reflect the various structural and functional changes in sperm during cryopreservation.
Project description:Cryopreservation and thawing of PBMCs are inevitable processes in expanding the scale of experiments in human immunology. Here, we carried out a fundamental study to investigate the detailed effects of PBMC cryopreservation and thawing on transcriptomes. We sorted Tregs from fresh and cryopreserved/thawed PBMCs from an identical donor and performed single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq). We found that the cryopreservation and thawing process minimally affects the key molecular features of Tregs, including FOXP3. However, the cryopreserved and thawed sample had a specific cluster with up-regulation of genes for heat shock proteins. Caution may be warranted in interpreting the character of any cluster of cells with heat shock-related properties when cryopreserved and thawed samples are used for scRNA-seq.
Project description:Background:Although sperm cryopreservation has been widely used in human reproductive medicine as an integral infertility management in infertility clinics and for banking sperm in sperm banks, the freezing/thawing protocols are not optimal. The freezing and thawing processes result in changes at both structural and molecular levels, some even detrimental, in human sperm when compared with fresh sperm. The change of sperm proteins after cryopreservation may play negative roles for fertilization and early embryo development. Conventionally, cryostraws (CS) and cryovials (CV) are the most widely used cryopreservation carriers (CPCs) for human sperm cryopreservation accompanied with the use of egg yolk free commercial media. However, the influence of cryopreservation on the proteomic profile of human sperm preserved with the two CPCs is unknown. Therefore the purpose of the present study was to compare the frozen-thawed motility, investigate the proteomic profile of human sperm cryopreserved with the two types of CPCs, and identify the susceptible proteins that play key roles for sperm function and fertility. Methods:The present study compared the cryosurvival of human sperm frozen with the two different CPCs and identified the sperm proteomic changes by using the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification labeling technique coupled with 2D LC-MS/MS analysis after freezing and thawing. Results:Our results indicated that sperm cryopreserved with CV showed higher values for percentage of motile sperm and forward activity rate than those with CS. Compared to fresh sperm, 434 and 432 proteins were differentially identified in human sperm cryopreserved with CS and CV, respectively. Conclusion:The proteomic profiles of human sperm are greatly affected by cryopreservation with either type of CPC. GO analysis revealed that most of the differentially identified sperm proteins enriched in the extracellular membrane-bounded organelles, cytoplasm and cytosol. In addition, 106 susceptible proteins having known identities related to sperm functions were identified. In general, cryovial seems to be the preferred CPC for human sperm cryopreservation based on the post-thaw motility parameters and the effect on sperm proteomic profiles. These results are beneficial for the insight into the understanding of the cryoinjury mechanism of sperm and the development of human sperm cryopreservation strategies.
Project description:Cryopreservation induces differential remodeling of the proteome in mammalian spermatozoa. How these proteome changes relate to the loss of sperm function during cryopreservation remains unsolved. The present study aimed to clarify this issue evaluating differential changes in the proteome of fresh and frozen-thawed pig spermatozoa retrieved from the cauda epididymis and the ejaculate of the same boars, with clear differences in cryotolerance. Spermatozoa were collected from 10 healthy, sexually mature, and fertile boars, and cryopreserved using a standard 0.5 mL-straw protocol. Total and progressive motility, viability, and mitochondria membrane potential were higher and membrane fluidity and reactive oxygen species generation lower in frozen-thawed (FT) epididymal than ejaculated spermatozoa. Quantitative proteomics of fresh and FT spermatozoa were analyzed using a LC-ESI-MS/MS-based Sequential Window Acquisition of All Theoretical Spectra approach. Cryopreservation quantitatively altered more proteins in ejaculated than cauda epididymal spermatozoa. Differential protein-protein networks highlighted a set of proteins quantitatively altered in ejaculated spermatozoa, directly involved in mitochondrial functionality which would explain why ejaculated spermatozoa deteriorate during cryopreservation.
Project description:Background:The application of cryopreservation and artificial insemination technology have contributed to the advancement of animal reproduction. However, a substantial proportion of spermatozoa undergoes alterations and loses their fertility during cryopreservation, rendering the frozen-thawed semen impractical for routine use. Cryopreservation is known to reduce sperm lifespan and fertility. Variation in cryosurvival of spermatozoa from different sires and even with the individual sire is common in artificial insemination (AI) centers. Our goal is to improve post-thawed semen quality by optimization of cryopreservation technique through sperm selection prior to cryopreservation process. Results:Our strategy of sperm selection based on rheotaxis and thermotaxis (SSRT) on macrosale in a rotating fluid flow demonstrated the ability to maintain the original pre-freezing structural integrity, viability and biological function related to fertilization competence. This strategy has a positive effect on the cryosurvival and fertilizing abilities of spermatozoa as supported by the improvement on pregnancy rate of Japanese Black heifers and Holstein repeat breeders. This technique protected further sublethal damage to bovine spermatozoa (higher % cryosurvival than the control) and resulted in the improvement of DNA integrity. Prefreeze selected spermatozoa demonstrated slower and controlled capacitation than unprocessed control which is thought to be related to sperm longevity and consequently to appropriate timing during in vivo fertilization. Conclusions:These results provide solid evidence that improvement of post-thawed semen quality by SSRT method is beneficial in terms of cryosurvival, longevity of post-thawed sperm, and optimization of in vivo fertilization, embryo development and calving as supported by the favorable results of field fertility study.
Project description:Sperm cryopreservation is the best modality to ensure future fertility for males diagnosed with cancer. The extent to which cryopreserved sperm is actually used for impregnation, the fertility treatment options that are available and the success rates of these treatments have not been investigated in depth. The medical records of 682 patients who cryopreserved sperm cells due to cancer treatment were analyzed. Seventy of these patients withdrew their frozen sperm for fertility treatments over a 20-year period (most within the first 4 years after cryopreservation). Sperm quality of different malignancies and outcomes of assisted reproduction treatment (ART) for pregnancy achievement in relation to the type of treatment and the type of malignancy were evaluated. The results showed that the rate of using cryo-thawed sperm from cancer patients for fertility treatments in our unit was 10.3%. Sperm quality indices differed between different types of malignancies, with the poorest quality measured in testicular cancer. Conception was achieved in 46 of the 184 ART cycles (25%), and resulted in 36 deliveries. The use of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) methodology yielded a significantly higher pregnancy rate (37.4%) than intrauterine insemination (IUI; 11.5%) and was similar to other groups of infertile couples using these modalities. In vitro fertilization (IVF) failed to produce pregnancies. In conclusion, the rate of use of cryopresseved sperm in cancer patients is relatively low (10.3%). Achievement of pregnancies by ICSI presents the best option but when there are enough stored sperm samples and adequate quality, IUI can be employed. Cryopreservation is nevertheless the best option to preserve future fertility potential and hope for cancer patients.
Project description:As clinical applications for chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CART) therapy extend beyond early phase trials, commercial manufacture incorporating cryopreservation steps becomes a logistical necessity. The effect of cryopreservation on CART characteristics is unclear. We retrospectively evaluated the effect of cryopreservation on product release criteria and in vivo characteristics in 158 autologous CART products from 6 single-center clinical trials. Further, from 3 healthy donor manufacturing runs, we prospectively identified differentially expressed cell surface markers and gene signatures among fresh versus cryopreserved CARTs. Within 2 days of culture initiation, cell viability of the starting fraction (peripheral blood mononuclear cells [PBMNCs]) decreased significantly in the cryo-thawed arm compared to the fresh arm. Despite this, PBMNC cryopreservation did not affect final CART fold expansion, transduction efficiency, CD3%, or CD4:CD8 ratios. In vivo CART persistence and clinical responses did not differ among fresh and cryopreserved final products. In healthy donors, compared to fresh CARTs, early apoptotic cell-surface markers were significantly elevated in cryo-thawed CARTs. Cryo-thawed CARTs also demonstrated significantly elevated expression of mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis signaling, and cell cycle damage pathways. Cryopreservation during CART manufacture is a viable strategy, based on standard product release parameters. The clinical impact of cryopreservation-related subtle micro-cellular damage needs further study.