Publications: Peer-reviewed journal articles (by staff)

Membrane permeability characteristics and osmotic tolerance limits of sea urchin (Evechinus chloroticus) eggs

  • Adams SL,
  • Kleinhans FW,
  • Hessian PA,
  • and Mladenov PV
1 August, 2003
CITATION

Adams SL, Kleinhans FW, Hessian PA, Mladenov PV 2003. Membrane permeability characteristics and osmotic tolerance limits of sea urchin (Evechinus chloroticus) eggs. Cryobiology 47 (1): 1-13.

DOI link here

ABSTRACT

Development of effective cryopreservation protocols relies on knowledge of the fundamental cryobiological characteristics for a particular cell type. These characteristics include osmotic behaviour, membrane permeability characteristics, and osmotic tolerance limits. Here, we report on measures of these characteristics for unfertilized and fertilised eggs of the sea urchin (Evechinus chloroticus). In NaCl solutions of varying osmolalities, sea urchin eggs behaved as ideal linear osmometers. The osmotically inactive volume (vb) was similar for unfertilized and fertilised eggs, 0.367+/-0.008 (mean+/-SE) and 0.303+/-0.007, respectively. Estimates of water solubility (Lp) and solute permeability (Ps) and their respective activation energies (Ea) for unfertilized and fertilised eggs were determined following exposure to cryoprotectant (CPA) solutions at different temperatures. Irrespective of treatment, fertilised eggs had higher values of Lp and Ps. The presence of a CPA decreased Lp. Among CPAs, solute permeability was highest for propylene glycol followed by dimethyl sulphoxide and then ethylene glycol. Measures of osmotic tolerance limits of the eggs revealed unfertilized eggs were able to tolerate volumetric changes of -20% and +30% of their equilibrium volume; fertilised eggs were able to tolerate changes +/-30%. Using membrane permeability data and osmotic tolerance limits, we established effective methods for loading and unloading CPAs from the eggs. The results of this study establish cryobiological characteristics for E. chloroticus eggs of use for developing an effective cryopreservation protocol. The approach we outline can be readily adapted for determining cryobiological characteristics of other species and cell types, as an aid to successful cryopreservation.