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Effect of insulin-like growth factor-I on some quality traits and fertility of cryopreserved ovine semen

Padilha, R.T., Magalhães-Padilha, D.M., Cavalcante, M.M., Almeida, A.P., Haag, K.T., Gastal, M.O., Nunes, J.F., Rodrigues, A.P.R., Figueiredo, J.R., Oliveira, M.A.L.
Theriogenology 2012 v.78 no.4 pp. 907-913
acrosome, cryopreservation, ewes, fluorescence, humans, insemination, insulin-like effect, insulin-like growth factor I, plasma membrane, pregnancy, pregnancy diagnosis, rams, semen, sperm motility, thawing, ultrasonography, viability
The objective was to evaluate the effects of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) on the quality and fertility of frozen/thawed ovine semen. Five rams (five ejaculates/ram) were used for evaluation of semen parameters. Before cryopreservation, ejaculates were divided into four aliquots and extended with Tris alone or supplemented with human IGF-I (50, 100, or 250 ng/mL). Semen was evaluated immediately after thawing (T0), after 1 h (T1) and 2 h (T2) post-incubation at 37 °C. The percentage of live cells (fluorescence analysis-calcein and ethidium), acrosome integrity (NAR) and motility were analyzed, and hypo-osmotic swelling tests (HOST) were used to evaluate membrane resistance. In addition, AI was performed using 121 ewes to compare the optimal concentration of IGF-I vs. Tris alone on pregnancy rates after laparoscopic insemination. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed by transrectal ultrasonography. After 1 and 2 h post-incubation, in every group, percentage motile sperm, NAR and HOST decreased compared to semen at T0. Motility was higher (P < 0.05) in the IGF-I 100 and IGF-I 250 groups when compared to the IGF-I 50 and Tris groups (76.2 and 74.4% vs. 66.2 and 64.4 percent, respectively) at T0, after 1 h (67 and 63.6% vs. 56.2 and 54.7%) and 2 h post-incubation (58.2 and 55.8% vs. 48 and 47.2%). Furthermore, viability was higher (P < 0.05) in the insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) 100 and IGF-I 250 groups than in the IGF-I 50 and Tris groups (88.7 and 88.3% vs. 76.6 and 77.6%, respectively) at T0. There was no difference (P > 0.05) in NAR or hypo-osmotic swelling tests (HOST) among groups. There were no differences (P > 0.05) in fertility between the IGF-I 100 and Tris groups. In conclusion, IGF-I improved subjective sperm motility and structural integrity of the plasma membrane without a significant effect on 45-day pregnancy rates after laparoscopic insemination of ewes with frozen-thawed semen.