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Anim Reprod Sci. 2008 Sep;107(3-4):293-301. doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2008.05.003. Epub 2008 May 9.

Freezing of stallion epididymal sperm.

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Department of Animal Reproduction and Veterinary Radiology, São Paulo State University, Botucatu, Brazil.


Inseminations with frozen-thawed epididymal sperm have resulted in low-pregnancy rates of mares. If fertility of epididymal sperm could be improved, it would help to preserve genetic material from stallions that have suffered severe injuries, been castrated or have died. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of different extenders and pre-freezing addition of capacitation media on freezability of epididymal sperm and on storage at 5 degrees C for 24h. In experiment 1, epididymal sperm samples were diluted and subsequently frozen with three different extenders: Botu-Crio, EDTA-Lactose and INRA-82. Motility analysis using computer assisted sperm analyzer (CASA) demonstrated better motility for sperm in Botu-Crio than in the other extenders; EDTA-Lactose yielded better motility than INRA-82 on most evaluated parameters. There was no difference in membrane integrity among the studied extenders. From 18 inseminated mares, 12 (66%) were pregnant 15 days after AI with frozen-thawed epididymal sperm showing that Botu-Crio was able to maintain the fertility potential. In experiment 2, the effect of incubation of epididymal sperm before freezing in three capacitation media (Fert Talp, Sperm Talp, Talp+Progesterone), seminal plasma, or control was tested. Based on post-thaw motility evaluation by CASA, samples incubated in Sperm Talp showed better motility values. There were no differences in plasma or acrosomal membranes or in mitochondrial potential among groups. We concluded that Botu-Crio was better than the other extenders in the ability to preserve epididymal sperm and that pre-freeze addition of Sperm Talp was also beneficial.

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