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Addition of superoxide dismutase mimics during cooling process prevents oxidative stress and improves semen quality parameters in frozen/thawed ram spermatozoa

Santiani, Alexei, Evangelista, Shirley, Sepúlveda, Néstor, Risopatrón, Jennie, Villegas, Juana, Sánchez, Raúl
Theriogenology 2014 v.82 no.6 pp. 884-889
antioxidants, cooling, cryopreservation, freezing, lipid peroxidation, oxidative stress, rams, reactive oxygen species, semen, sperm capacitation, sperm motility, spermatozoa, superoxide dismutase, temperature, thawing, viability
High levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which may be related to reduced semen quality, are detected during semen cryopreservation in some species. The objectives of this study were to measure the oxidative stress during ram semen cryopreservation and to evaluate the effect of adding 2 antioxidant mimics of superoxide dismutase (Tempo and Tempol) during the cooling process on sperm motility, viability, acrosomal integrity, capacitation status, ROS levels, and lipid peroxidation in frozen and/or thawed ram spermatozoa. Measuring of ROS levels during the cooling process at 35, 25, 15, and 5 °C and after freezing and/or thawing showed a directly proportional increase (P < 0.05) when temperatures were lowering. Adding antioxidants at 10 °C confered a higher motility and sperm viability after cryopreservation in comparison with adding at 35 °C or at 35 °C/5 °C. After freezing and/or thawing, sperm motility was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in Tempo and Tempol 1 mM than that in control group. Percentage of capacitated spermatozoa was lower (P < 0.05) in Tempo and Tempol 1 mM in comparison with that in control group. In addition, ROS levels and lipid peroxidation in group Tempo 1 mM were lower (P < 0.05) than those in control group. These results demonstrate that ram spermatozoa are exposed to oxidative stress during the cooling process, specifically when maintained at 5 °C and that lipid peroxidation induced by high levels of ROS decreases sperm motility and induces premature sperm capacitation. In contrast, the addition of Tempo or Tempol at 0.5 to 1 mM during the cooling process (10 °C) protects ram spermatozoa from oxidative stress.