Protective features of resveratrol on human spermatozoa cryopreservation may be mediated through 5' AMP-activated protein kinase activation

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Abstract

SUMMARY

Biochemical and physical modifications during the freeze-thaw process adversely influence the restoration of energy-dependent sperm functions required for fertilization. Resveratrol, a phytoalexin, has been introduced to activate 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase which is a cell energy sensor and a cell metabolism regulator. The cryoprotection of resveratrol on sperm cryoinjury via activation of AMP-activated protein kinase also remains to be elucidated. Our aim, thus, was to investigate: (i) the presence and intracellular localization of AMP-activated protein kinase protein; (ii) whether resveratrol may exert a protective effect on certain functional properties of fresh and post-thaw human spermatozoa through modulation of AMP-activated protein kinase. Spermatozoa from normozoospermic men were incubated with or without different concentrations of Compound C as an AMP-activated protein kinase inhibitor or resveratrol as an AMP-activated protein kinase activator for different lengths of time and were then cryopreserved. AMP-activated protein kinase is expressed essentially in the entire flagellum and the post-equatorial region. Viability of fresh spermatozoa was not significantly affected by the presence of Compound C or resveratrol. However, although Compound C caused a potent inhibition of spermatozoa motility parameters, resveratrol did not induce negative effect, except a significant reduction in motility at 25 μm for 1 h. Furthermore, resveratrol significantly increased AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation and mitochondrial membrane potential and decreased reactive oxygen species and apoptosis-like changes in frozen-thawed spermatozoa. Nevertheless, it was not able to compensate decreased sperm viability and motility parameters following cryopreservation. In contrast, Compound C showed opposite effects to resveratrol on AMP-activated protein kinase phosphorylation, reactive oxygen species, apoptosis-like changes, mitochondrial membrane potential, and motility parameters. These findings, although preliminary, suggest that resveratrol-induced improvement of cryopreserved sperm functions may be mediated through activation of AMP-activated protein kinase, indicating the importance of AMP-activated protein kinase activity for human spermatozoa functions. Further investigations are required to elucidate the mechanism by which resveratrol ameliorates oxidative stress-mediated damages in an AMP-activated protein kinase-dependent mechanism.

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