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Theriogenology. 2012 Oct 15;78(7):1446-55. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2012.06.005. Epub 2012 Aug 24.

Improvement of the post-thaw qualities of Okinawan native Agu pig sperm frozen in an extender supplemented with antiapoptotic PTD-FNK protein.

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  • 1Faculty of Agriculture, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-0213, Japan.


The technical establishment of boar sperm cryopreservation is indispensable for effective breeding of the scarce Okinawan native Agu pig. The objective was to determine whether an artificial anticell death protein (PTD-FNK protein) was capable of improving the quality of cryopreserved Agu sperm. Ejaculated Agu sperm frozen in an extender supplemented with 0, 100, 200, 300, or 400 nm PTD-FNK protein was thawed, and mitochondrial integrity and other sperm characteristics were evaluated. Treatment with 300 nm PTD-FNK protein had the most beneficial effect (P < 0.05) on mitochondrial integrity (45-59%) and sperm motility (56-67%) after freezing-thawing. In particular, the proportion of post-thaw sperm with activated caspase-9 and -3 but not caspase-8 was markedly reduced among sperm frozen in the presence of PTD-FNK protein (P < 0.05), implying protection against apoptotic-cell death in response to mitochondrial damage. There were high levels of intracellular ATP (9.4-10.5 nmol/10(8) sperm) in post-thaw sperm treated with PTD-FNK protein, and the inhibitory effect of PTD-FNK protein on activation of caspases influenced the increase in the number of sperm with intact DNA (36-53%; P < 0.05). Furthermore, the addition of PTD-FNK protein to the freezing extender strongly preserved the ability of the sperm to penetrate to mature oocytes in all individuals (60-80%; P < 0.05). In conclusion, treatment with PTD-FNK protein in the freezing extender effectively improved post-thaw qualities of fragile Agu sperm through prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction leading to apoptotic-cell death during cryopreservation.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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