Effect of cryoprotective agents on rat cutaneous nerves

Menz, L.J.

Cryobiology 12(4): 405-416


ISSN/ISBN: 0011-2240
PMID: 1175389
DOI: 10.1016/0011-2240(75)90012-7
Accession: 026465212

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Desheathed rat cutaneous nerves were exposed to various concentrations of ethylene glycol (EG), glycerol and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at temperatures of 1, 24, and 38 °C for periods of time ranging from 5 to 60 min. Measurements of the percent recovery of the original action potential (AP) were determined after removal of the cryoprotective agent (CPA) under various conditions, i.e., temperature, time and sequence of rinsing. A comparison of the results obtained after the nerves were exposed directly to a 15% concentration of the three CPAs at 1 °C for a 15-min period showed that the percentage of recovery of the AP was 90, 69, and 36% of the original values when treated with DMSO, EG, or glycerol, respectively. In all three groups, the nerves were rinsed at 1 °C for 15 min. If the exposure to glycerol at 1 °C was carried out in a gradual stepwise manner, the recovery of the AP in 10 and 15% solutions ranged from 58 to 64%. If the temperatures of the exposure and rinse were increased to 24 and 38 °C, glycerol produced some toxicity within 10 min and after 25 min no recovery of AP was obtained. The results of a 10-min direct exposure to EG at 1 °C showed a moderate decrease in recovery of the AP as the concentration was increased from 10 to 15–20%. Increasing the exposure time to 15 and 30 min at 1 °C also contributed to further reduction in recovery. DMSO, however, in concentrations of 10, 15, and 20% produced only a slight decline of AP after a 5–15 min exposure at 1 °C. Recovery ranged from 96% after 10 min in a 10% solution to 88% after 15 min in a 20% solution. Toxicity became more apparent with DMSO when nerves were exposed to 30% concentrations for 5–10 min; the latter time resulted in a 49% recovery of the AP. Exposure of nerves to a CPA solution containing isotonic concentrations of electrolytes resulted in a 10–30% improvement in recovery when compared with specimens treated with lower levels of salt. The effect of raising the temperature of the rinse to 38 °C and increasing the wash time to 20 min was studied in a few selected experiments. After a direct 15-min exposure to a 15% solution of a CPA at 1 °C the recovery in the case of glycerol was significantly increased with such treatment whereas with EG and DMSO it remained unchanged. There was no evidence of thermal or cold shock in this work.