Pre-freezing sperm preparation does not impair thawed spermatozoa binding to the zona pellucida

L. Yogev, R. Gamzu, G. Paz, S. Kleiman, A. Botchan, R. Hauser, H. Yavetz

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The present study was conducted to assess the fertilizing potential of frozen-thawed spermatozoa, which were cryopreserved after separation on a Percoll gradient, or washed out of seminal plasma. For this purpose, binding to the zona pellucida and other characteristics of the treated sperm cells were compared with those of cryopreserved spermatozoa from the same original sample which were not manipulated before freezing. Semen specimens were obtained from 80 candidates for sperm donation. Percoll-treated sperm samples compared with the sibling, unprocessed controls had significantly higher values of sperm motility characteristics and per cent of cells with normal morphology after freezing and thawing. Sperm binding ability to the zona pellucida was not statistically different (109 ± 8.1% and 94 ± 6.7% in unprocessed and Percoll-treated samples respectively). Sperm specimens processed by washing had significantly higher values for motility characteristics than untreated sibling samples, but no differences were found between the treated and untreated samples for morphology and binding to the zona pellucida (hemizona index of 75 ± 7.0% and 76 ± 6.7% in unprocessed and washed samples respectively). These findings suggest that, judged by the binding assay, the aforementioned pre-freezing separation processes have no adverse effect upon the fertilizing potential of the thawed sperm cells. These procedures make it possible to optimize the progressive motile sperm cell concentration of the frozen specimen, which facilitates the storage of samples with good quality, even when the features of the original semen are sub-optimal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-117
Number of pages4
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • Cryopreservation
  • Hemizona assay
  • Spermatozoa preparation


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