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Acrosin activity is a good predictor of boar sperm freezability
- Pinart, Elisabeth, Yeste, Marc, Bonet, Sergi
- Theriogenology 2015 v.83 no.9 pp. 1525-1533
- Pietrain, acrosin, acrosome, boars, calcium, cooling, cryopreservation, kinematics, lipids, refrigeration, sperm motility, thawing
- The main aim of this study was to determine whether acrosin activity could predict boar sperm freezability. For this purpose, we characterized the changes in sperm quality and acrosin activity throughout the cryopreservation procedure of sperm samples from 30 Pietrain boars by analyzing four critical steps: step 1 (extended sperm at 15 °C), step 2 (cooled sperm at 5 °C), step 3 (30 minutes postthaw), and step 4 (240 minutes postthaw). Freezability ejaculate groups were set on the basis of sperm motility and membrane integrity after freeze–thawing. Results obtained highlighted the low predictive value in terms of freezability of sperm motility and kinematics and sperm membrane integrity, as no differences between good and poor freezability ejaculates were seen before cryopreservation. Significant differences (P < 0.05) between ejaculate groups were observed in the cooling step at 5 °C for sperm kinetic parameters, and after thawing for sperm motility and membrane integrity. In contrast, acrosin activity appeared as an indicator of boar sperm freezability because the differences (P < 0.05) between good and poor freezability ejaculates manifested yet in extended samples at 15 °C. On the other hand, we also found that variations in sperm kinematics, membrane lipid disorder, intracellular calcium content, acrosome integrity, and acrosin activity throughout the cryopreservation procedure were indicative of a significant damage in spermatozoa during the cooling step in both ejaculate groups. In conclusion, the main finding of our study is that acrosin activity can be used as a reliable predictor of boar sperm freezability because it differs significantly between good and poor freezability ejaculates yet before freeze–thawing procedures took place, i.e., in the refrigeration step at 15 °C.