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Theriogenology. 2002 Jan 1;57(1):327-44.

Current status of sperm cryopreservation: why isn't it better?

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Laboratório de Embriologia e Biotécnicas de Reprodução, Faculdade de Veterinária, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS 91501-970 Brazil.


Cryopreservation extends the availability of sperm for fertilization; however, the fertilizing potential of the frozen-thawed sperm is compromised because of alterations in the structure and physiology of the sperm cell. These alterations, characteristics of sperm capacitation, are present in the motile population and decrease sperm life-span, ability to interact with female tract, and fertilizing ability. The etiology of such alterations may represent a combination of factors, such as inherited fragility of the sperm cell to withstand the cryopreservation process and the semen dilution. Although the former is difficult to address, approaches that make-up for the dilution of seminal fluid may be sought. The aim of this work is to review aspects of sperm cryopreservation paralleled by events of capacitation and evaluate the possible roles of sperm membrane cholesterol, reactive oxygen species, and seminal plasma as mediators of cryopreservation effects on sperm function.

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