Cryopreservation at DKFZ

The in-house cryopreservation keeps the major advantage to be very flexible and to use mice available at a given point. Special breeding for cryopreservation purposes can be omitted.
Up to now we have completely cryopreserved more than 600 transgenic mouse lines; these are more than 260.000 embryos. In addition 10 transgenic mouse lines are completely cryopreserved using spermatozoa, more than 12.000 samples are in stock. If these lines would be kept in a breeding stock, about 100.000 mice would be bred every year only to protect these lines against loss. More than 1.000 cages would be occupied permanently.
Subsequently, cryopreservation is supporting animal welfare and contributes the “3R” postulates of Russel und Burch.

Due to hygienic reasons donor animals are kept in most cases in the original facility of the corresponding line. The cryopreserved samples are stored in special LN2-containers located on different places. Lines cryopreserved are partly listed in TIERBASE, complete information is available by us. A data base covering all mutant mouse lines available at DKFZ was generated in cooperation with other groups, it is linked with the publication data base.

We are a reference lab of the Society of Laboratory Animal Science and a member of the Alliance of German Cryobanks.

Order forms for cryopreservation are available by use of the contact form or online using the Intranet Wissenschaftliche Services - Core Facilities - Tierhaltung.

Our work is in part supported by the Federal Institute of Risk Assessment (ZEBET), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Alliance of German Cryobanks.


Wayss K, Klefenz M, Schenkel J (2005): Cryopreservation of transgenic mouse embryos – an eight years experience. J Exp Anim Sci 43 (2), 69-85

Schenkel J (2006): Transgene Tiere, 2. Auflage. Lehrbuch, Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg, ISBN 978-3-540-28267-9

Renner-Müller I, Schenkel J, Aigner B (2007) Typen gentechnisch veränderter Tiere. Versuchstierkundliche Informationen der Gesellschaft für Versuchstierkunde, elektronische Publikation

Schwab A, Schenkel J (2008a): Collection, Cryopreservation, Storage And Revitalization Of Transgenic Mouse Embryos. Cold Spring Harb. Protoc.; doi:10.1101/pdb.prot5111

Schwab A, Schenkel J (2008b): Factors influencing the Yield of Transgenic Mouse Embryos for Cryopreservation. Scand J Lab Anim Sci. 35(4), 1-13

Diercks AK, Schwab A, Rittgen W, Kruspel A, Heuss E, Schenkel J (2010): Environmental influences on the production of pre-implantation embryos. Theriogenology 73, 1238-1243

Schenkel J (2010): Cryopreservation of transgenic mice and the 3Rs. BfR expert workshop on “Implementation and enforcement of the 3Rs principle in the field of transgenic animals used for scientific purposes”. ALTEX 27 (2):132

Staudt M, Trauth J, El Hindi I, Galuschka C, Sitek D, Schenkel J (2012). Managing major data of genetically modified mice – from scientific demands to legal obligations. Transgenic Res 21(5), 959-966.

Diercks AK, Schwab A, Bürgers H F, Schenkel J (2012) Improved assessment of frozen/thawed mouse spermatozoa by using fluorescence microscopy. J Vet Sci 13(3), 315-322.

Iglauer F, Kluge R, Davidson J, Schenkel J, Renner-Müller I, Reifenberg K (2010): Tierschutzrechtliche Einordnung induzierbarer Transgen- und Knock-out-Systeme Versuchstierkundliche Informationen der Gesellschaft für Versuchstierkunde, elektronische Publikation

Ramin M, Bürger A, Hörlein A, Kerkau D, v. Walcke-Wulffen V, Nicklas W, Schenkel J (2014) Stability of cryopreserved samples of mutant mice. Biopreserv Biobank 12(5), 343-350.

Ramin M, Denk N, Schenkel J (2015) The role of diet and housing-temperature in the production of genetically modified mouse embryos and their developmental capacity after cryopreservation. Theriogenology 84, 1306-1313

Hose K, Galuschka C, Sitek D, Schenkel J (2016) Haltung gentechnisch veränderter Tiere derRisikogruppe 1: Möglichkeiten der Aufzeichnungen nach dem Gentechnikrecht
mittels Datenbanken. Fachinformation der Gesellschaft für Versuchstierkunde, elektronische Publikation

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