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Theriogenology. 2008 Sep 1;70(4):704-14. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.04.047. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

Factors impacting equine sperm recovery rate and quality following cushioned centrifugation.

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  • 1Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4475, USA.


Two experiments were conducted to investigate modifications in cushioned centrifugation of stallion semen. Specifically, the effects of tube type, centrifugation medium, cushion type, and centrifugation force on post-centrifugation sperm recovery rate and quality were evaluated. In Experiment 1, sperm recovery rate was higher (P<0.05) in conventional plastic conical-bottom tubes (103%) than in newly developed glass nipple-bottom tubes (96%) following cushioned centrifugation; however, several measures of semen quality (i.e., % total motility [MOT], % progressive motility [PMOT], curvilinear velocity, and average-path velocity) yielded higher values following centrifugation in nipple-bottom tubes (P<0.05). Sperm recovery rate following cushioned centrifugation was similar between semen previously diluted in optically clear centrifugation extender (100%) and semen diluted in opaque centrifugation extender (100%); however, MOT and PMOT were higher in semen subjected to cushioned centrifugation in opaque extender (P<0.05). An extender by tube-type interaction was not detected for recovery rate or post-centrifugation semen quality. In Experiment 2, sperm recovery rate following cushioned centrifugation in nipple-bottom tubes was similar when forces of 400xg or 600xg were applied (90 and 90%, respectively; P>0.05), and no resulting differences in semen quality were detected between these treatment groups (P>0.05). The type of iodixanol cushion medium used (i.e., OptiPrep, Eqcellsire Component B, or Cushion Fluid did not impact post-centrifugation semen quality, based on the laboratory values measured (P>0.05). In conclusion, cushioned centrifugation of stallion semen in either conical-bottom or nipple-bottom tubes yielded a high sperm harvest, while maintaining sperm function. An optically opaque extender, commonly used in the equine breeding industry, can be used to achieve this goal.

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