Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Center for Genetic Medicine
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Cryopreservation of Mouse Lines

Cryopreservation is the process of freezing germplasm for stable, long-term storage in liquid nitrogen. It is a safe method for preserving viable pre-implantation embryos or sperm that can be easily recovered at a future date to revive the line. It is a mainstream technique used by all major mouse vendors and international repositories (e.g., IKMC, MMRRC, KOMP2 and RIKEN) and most major research institutions. It provides a means for NU investigators to bank valuable, well-characterized mouse lines that are no longer routinely used, freeing up animal space and resources, both in time spent maintaining colonies and animal housing costs.

Why Cryopreservation?

There are many reasons to consider cryopreservation of your mouse lines:

  • Cryopreservation insures against loss of colonies in the event of a natural catastrophe. For example, liquid nitrogen dewars used to store frozen embryos have withstood both fires and floods at various institutions faced with such disasters.
  • Cryopreserved stocks can easily and quickly be thawed in the event of an infectious outbreak or reproductive failure within a colony.
  • Economically, cryopreservation results in significant long-term cost savings and mouse room space. Valuable, well-characterized mouse lines that are no longer routinely used can be safely stored as frozen embryos.
  • Cryopreservation of stock lines helps to control genetic drift and serves as a genetic resource for refreshing mouse lines.
  • Cryopreservation is recommended for transgenic lines susceptible to transgene instability.
  • Cryopreserved stocks can be shipped to or from collaborators worldwide.

Methods

Visit our Methods page to learn more about the different types of cryopreservation, including information on embryo cryopreservation and sperm cryopreservation.

Our Successes

The follow is a list of mouse strains that have been successfully cryopreserved by our facility since 2008.

As Embryos As Sperm
Inbred/hybrid strains Inbred/hybrid strains
  • C57BL/6
  • C57BL/6 mixed background
  • B6(Cg)-Tyrc-2J/J (albino B6)
  • B6SJLF1 (& B6:SJL)
  • FVB
  • B6D2
  • DBA (& DBA:B6)
  • 129 substrains
    • 129S1/SvImJ
    • 129S6/SvEvTac
    • 129P2/OlaHsd
    • 129x1/SvJ
  • 129:B6
    • B6129SF1
    • B6129PF1
  • 129:B6 mix (3 or more strains)
  • C57BL/6
  • C57BL/6 mixed background
  • B6(Cg)-Tyrc-2J/J (albino B6)
  • B6SJLF1 (& B6:SJL)
  • FVB
  • B6D2
  • DBA
  • BALB/c
  • C3H (& (C3H X C57))
  • SJL
  • 129 substrains
    • 129S1/SvImJ
    • 129S6/SvEvTac
    • 129P2/OlaHsd
    • 129x1/SvJ
  • 129:B6
  • 129:B6 mix (3 or more strains)
Outbred strains Outbred strains
  • Swiss Webster
  • ICR/CD1
  • ICR/CD1

Next Steps & Cost

To initiate an project, complete the request form found on the NUcore TTML page and upload when ready to purchase on NUcore. Be sure to include background strain of the males you are providing and wild-type stain of females you want to uses as oocyte donors. Each mutation carried by the line you are cryopreserving should be listed on the request form. We will review the request to determine if it is feasible and suggest the best method.

For pricing information, visit our Costs & Services page.

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