Cryopreservation of mouse embryos, oocytes, sperm and ovaries is essential for researchers using transgenic or mutant mice because it preserves valuable mouse lines for future use without the need for long-term maintenance of breeding colonies. There are several benefits to long-term storage of mouse lines. Cryopreservation reduces the cost of animal care, saves space in the vivarium and simplifies importing and exporting mouse lines. Since frozen cells remain unaffected by mutation, genetic drift or disease, cryopreservation minimizes the risk of strain loss due to contamination, disease, breeding problems and disasters.
Since the summer of 2005, every researcher in the Gulf Coast area has become keenly aware of the potential for natural disaster, and the Tulane Transgenic Core Facility is prepared. We keep dry shippers fully charged throughout hurricane season, ready to transport embryos out of town in case of a mandatory evacuation of the City of New Orleans. The facility also maintains two dedicated freezers at separate locations in order to maximize the safety of the cryopreserved mouse lines. Each cryopreservation session that is performed includes a quality control check to determine the viability of the frozen embryos. Mouse lines can be cryopreserved as embryos, sperm, oocytes and ovaries. The facility recommends freezing embryos.
Frozen embryos provide an excellent method to preserve mouse lines as the method is reliable for various strains and it preserves the complete genome of the line. Sperm freezing methods are commonly used, however not all strains of mouse sperm can be effectively frozen. Cryopreserved oocytes and sperm both require suitable donor mice for IVF upon thawing, and the offspring are heterozygous. Mouse ovaries easy to freeze, but potential yield of animals is quite low. Before requesting these procedures, please contact Ann Mullin.
Investigators can request that their frozen embryos be thawed and transplanted into foster mothers at any time. The facility will guarantee the recovery of at least 1 breeding pair. Generally, pups will be ready for delivery within 9 weeks.
Investigators must supply the following items
- Completed Service Request form
- At least 5 males, proven breeders
- If homozygous offspring are essential, at least 16 females, (20 preferred) 3-4 weeks old
- Current protocol number
- Charge for embryo cryopreservation is $1200 (Tulane only)
- Charge for sperm cryopreservation is $600 (Tulane only)
At this time, the facility will not charge a yearly storage fee.
If an investigator wishes to combine cryopreservation with IVF, additional charges will apply.
Please send an e-mail to Ann Mullin for current pricing information. Investigators outside the Tulane University system must be at an institution based in Louisiana and have an additional charge.
The arrival of mice from any non-approved vendor must be coordinated with the director of the Uptown Vivarium, Amy Pierce, (504) 865-6716
The Tulane Transgenic Mouse Facility wishes to acknowledge the Tulane Research Enhancement Fund for awarding funds for the purchase of equipment for IVF and cryopreservation.