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Theriogenology. 2012 Apr 1;77(6):1232-9. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2011.10.031. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

The impact of cushioned centrifugation protocols on semen quality of stallions.

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

Abstract

The objective was to determine if decreased cushion-fluid volume and increased sperm number during centrifugation, or if sperm concentration of extended semen following centrifugation, affected stallion sperm quality. Three ejaculates from each of three stallions were subjected to cushioned centrifugation (1,000g for 20 min). Cushion-fluid volume was set at 1 or 3.5 ml, and sperm number per centrifuge tube was set 1 billion or 3 billion. Following centrifugation, sperm pellets were resuspended in semen extender containing 20% seminal plasma (v/v) with sperm concentrations of 25 or 250 million/mL. Sperm recovery rate among centrifugation treatment groups was compared. Motion characteristics, plasma membrane intactness (SMI), and DNA quality (COMPαt) of sperm were compared among treatment groups and uncentrifuged controls immediately following centrifugation (Time 0 h) and following 24 h of cooled storage (Time 24 h). Centrifugation treatment did not affect sperm recovery rate (P > 0.05). At Time 0 h, no differences in experimental end points were detected between cushion-fluid volumes tested (P > 0.05). Values for percent total sperm motility, percent progressive sperm motility, and track straightness were similar between sperm-number treatments subjected to centrifugation (P > 0.05). At Time 24 h, values for all experimental endpoints were similar between centrifugation treatments for cushion volume per tube, and between centrifugation treatments for sperm number per tube (P > 0.05). Centrifugation treatments and control treatments were similar for five of six variables tested (P > 0.05). Sperm storage concentrations of 25 × 10(6) and 250 × 10(6)/mL yielded similar values for percent total sperm motility, percent progressive sperm motility, percent SMI, and percent COMPαt (P > 0.05). A storage concentration of 250 × 10(6) sperm/ml yielded higher values for curvilinear velocity, and lower values for straightness, than all other groups (P < 0.05). In conclusion, centrifugation with as little as 1 ml of cushion fluid and a sperm number of up to 3 × 10(9) sperm in 50-ml conical-bottom centrifuge tubes had no detrimental effect on initial or cool-stored sperm quality. Additionally, storage of centrifuged sperm at a concentration of 250 × 10(6)/mL with 20% seminal plasma (v/v) did not have a detrimental effect on percentages of motile or progressively motile sperm, or sperm DNA quality.

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