Main content area

Quality and fertilizing ability of electroejaculated cat spermatozoa frozen with or without Equex STM Paste

Zambelli, D., Iacono, E., Raccagni, R., Merlo, B.
Theriogenology 2010 v.73 no.7 pp. 886-892
semen extenders, adjuvants, male fertility, cell membranes, males, embryogenesis, freezing quality, cats, male reproductive system, sperm motility, egg yolk, additives, detergents, viability, in vitro fertilization, cryopreservation, freeze-thaw cycles, fertilization (reproduction), acrosome, germplasm conservation, thawing
An optimal protocol for cat semen cryopreservation has not yet been defined. Addition of Equex STM Paste has been tested for epididymal cat spermatozoa but not for ejaculated cat spermatozoa. Furthermore, the effect of Equex STM Paste on fertilizing ability of cryopreserved semen has never been evaluated in that species. Therefore, the aims of the current study were to investigate if addition of Equex STM Paste to a freezing extender for electroejaculated cat (Felis catus) semen would improve postthaw sperm quality and if sperm fertilizing ability after cryopreservation with or without Equex STM Paste was preserved. Semen was collected by electroejaculation and frozen in a Tris-glucose-citrate egg yolk extender supplemented with (0.5% vol/vol) or without Equex STM Paste. In Experiment 1, sperm motility, membrane integrity, and acrosomal status were determined immediately after collection and at 0, 3, and 6h postthaw. In Experiment 2, frozen semen from the two groups was used for in vitro fertilization (IVF) of in vitro-matured cat oocytes. Cleavage rate was recorded 30h after IVF, and embryo development was evaluated on Days 6 and 7 of culture. In Experiment 1, the rate of motile spermatozoa after freezing-thawing was higher when Equex STM Paste was added to the freezing extender, but progressive motility score was not influenced (P>0.05). Sperm membrane integrity was positively affected (P<0.05) by the addition of the detergent. Intact acrosomes after thawing were similar (P>0.05) between groups. Even if the decreasing rates of motility and membrane integrity were more rapid in presence of Equex than those in controls, total motility and sperm viability were similar at 3 and 6h after thawing (P>0.05). In Experiment 2, there was no difference in fertilizing ability and embryo development between the two groups (P>0.05). The results of this study demonstrate that the addition of Equex STM Paste in the freezing extender avoids the loss of motile spermatozoa and maintains fertilizing ability of frozen-thawed spermatozoa.