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Postthaw Addition of Autologous Seminal Plasma Improves Sperm Motion Characteristics in Fair and Poor Freezer Stallions

Neuhauser, Stefanie, Gösele, Patricia, Handler, Johannes
Journal of equine veterinary science 2019 v.72 pp. 117-123
cryopreservation, female reproductive system, freeze-thaw cycles, freezers, freezing, head, protective effect, semen extenders, seminal plasma, spermatozoa, stallions, straw, thawing, veterinarians
During semen processing for cryopreservation, most seminal plasma is usually removed, and components with protective effects on sperm may be missing after thawing and within the female reproductive tract. The present study evaluated the effect of postthaw addition of autologous seminal plasma on motion characteristics of stallion sperm with fair (n = 4) or poor (n = 3) freezability. Therefore, pure seminal plasma (group SP1), seminal plasma combined with fresh semen extender (group SP2), or seminal plasma mixed with freezing extender (group SP3) were used to fill 0.5 mL straws and frozen similar to stallion semen. Postthawing, semen samples (n = 42) were diluted either with semen extender (group FT) or with seminal plasma (n = 126) of groups SP1 to SP3 to 25 × 106 sperm/mL. In fair freezer stallions, total and progressive motilities were higher in group FT than in group SP1 (P < .05), but there was no difference in poor freezing stallions among groups (P > .05). However, comparing individual stallions, positive effects of seminal plasma on total or progressive motility were detected in two stallions. Curvilinear velocity increased in groups SP2 and SP3 in fair freezer stallions and in all groups with seminal plasma compared with group FT in poor freezer stallions (P < .05). Although straightness was higher in groups SP2 and SP3 compared with group FT in fair freezer stallions (P < .05), there was no difference among groups in stallions with poor freezability (P > .05). Average lateral head displacement did not change among groups of fair freezer stallions (P > .05) but was higher in groups SP2 and SP3 than in group FT in poor freezer stallions (P < .05). Beat cross frequency was higher in all groups diluted with seminal plasma postthawing in fair freezer stallions (P < .05), but only in group SP1 than in group FT in poor freezer stallions (P < .05). The addition of autologous seminal plasma to frozen-thawed semen can improve motion characteristics of stallions with fair and poor freezability. This is a valuable additional protocol for laboratories dealing with cryopreservation of stallion semen and for veterinarians working with fair or poor freezer stallions.