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Theriogenology. 2010 May;73(8):1076-87. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2010.01.007. Epub 2010 Mar 12.

Cryopreservation of epididymal cat spermatozoa: effects of in vitro antioxidative enzymes supplementation and lipid peroxidation induction.

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1
Division of Reproduction, Department of Clinical Sciences, P.O. Box 7054, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden.

Abstract

Reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation reaction, causes of sperm damage, can be diminished by action of antioxidative enzymes. This study aimed to investigate effects of (1) the antioxidative enzymes; catalase, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase, on epipididymal cat sperm quality and (2) the lipid peroxidation reaction induced by a transition metal (ferrous ion (II); Fe(2+)) on sperm quality during the cryopreservation process. Epididymal spermatozoa harvested from 39 male cats were pooled and divided into 13 aliquots (n=13). Each aliquot was resuspended with either a Tris egg yolk extender I (control; EE-I), or the Tris egg yolk extender I supplemented with 200 U/mL catalase (EE-CAT), or 10 U/mL glutathione peroxidase (EE-GPx), or 600 U/mL superoxide dismutase (EE-SOD), and then cryopreserved. After thawing, each sperm sample was subdivided into two groups; with and without lipid peroxidation induction (EE-I plus Fe(2+), EE-CAT plus Fe(2+), EE-GPx plus Fe(2+) and EE-SOD plus Fe(2+)). Subjective sperm motility, membrane, and acrosome integrity were evaluated at the time of collection, after cooling, and at 0, 2, 4, and 6h after thawing. Motility patterns assessed by computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA), mitochondrial activity, and DNA integrity were evaluated during post-thaw incubation, whereas percentage of lipid peroxidation was detected at 0 and 6h after thawing. The results demonstrate that catalase supplementation reduced linear motility and subjective motility immediately and 2h after thawing (P<0.05). Catalase supplementation, however, improved DNA integrity at 4h (P<0.05). Supplementation with glutathione peroxidase, compared to the control group, had a statistically significant positive effect on subjective motility at 0 and 6h, linear motility at 6h, mitochondrial activity at 6h, membrane integrity at 2 and 6h, and DNA integrity at 4h after thawing. Although superoxide dismutase had a positive effect on sperm membrane integrity at 2h after thawing (P<0.05), it significantly reduced membrane integrity after cooling, linear motility at thawing, and acrosome integrity at 2h after thawing. None of the three selected antioxidative enzymes significantly influenced acrosome integrity and none reduced the level of lipid peroxidation. Furthermore, induction of the lipid peroxidation reaction by Fe(2+) negatively affected most of the sperm quality parameters, i.e., motility and DNA integrity, during post-thaw sperm incubation (P<0.05). After thawing, there were, however, no significant differences between the control plus Fe(2+) and the antioxidative enzymes supplementation plus Fe(2+) groups. We can conclude that (1) glutathione peroxidase exhibits positive effects on post-thaw epididymal cat spermatozoa; but (2) none among the selected antioxidative enzymes could improve all sperm quality parameters; and (3) the lipid peroxidation reaction may be one cause of post-thaw epididymal sperm damage in cats, but the concentrations of antioxidative enzymes used in this study could not protect cat spermatozoa from lipid peroxidation induction.

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