Archiving of mouse stocks by cryopreservation of sperm has great potential, because it is simple, rapid, and cheap. However, for some of the most commonly used inbred strains, including C57BL/6J, the postthaw fertility of the sperm (0%–12%) is too low to be useful without recourse to zona nicking or intracytoplasmic sperm injection to aid penetration of the zona pellucida. In the present study, nonmotile sperm and cell debris were removed from thawed suspensions of C57BL/6J mouse sperm, and the remaining, largely progressively motile sperm were used for in vitro fertilization. These sperm fertilized 38%–88% of denuded, zona-intact eggs, and when 2-cell embryos were transferred to pseudopregnant recipient mice, 40%–63% produced live-born young. The production of 2-cell embryos and the birth of live pups at these rates indicate that cryopreservation of sperm is a practical way to archive the haploid genome of genetically altered C57BL/6J mice.
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