The number of rat strains increased considerably in the last decade and will increase continuously during the next years. This requires enough space for maintaining vital strains and techniques for cryobanking, which can be applied not only in specialised rat resource centres but also in regular animal houses. Here we describe an easy and fast method for the cryopreservation and transplantation of frozen-thawed ovaries of the rat. With dimethyl sulfoxide as cryoprotectant rat ovaries can be stored at -196 degrees C for unlimited time. For revitalisation thawed ovaries have to be orthotopically transplanted into appropriate ovarectomised recipients. Reestablishment of the reproductive cycle in the recipients can be confirmed by vaginal cytology shortly after transplantation. The recipients are able to produce 2-3 litters after mating with males of an appropriate strain. Cyropreservation of ovaries thus can be considered a reliable method to preserve scientifically and economically important stocks and strains of rats that are currently not required.