Use of a Single-Layer Density Centrifugation Method Enhances Sperm Quality in Cryopreserved–Thawed Equine Spermatozoa

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to improve the quality of cryopreserved–thawed equine sperm using single-layer density centrifugation (SLC). Sperm quality was assessed by DNA integrity, motility, morphology, mitochondrial membrane potential, viability, and plasma membrane alteration. The percentage of DNA-damaged sperm (expressed in % COMP) was lower (P = .001) after SLC (1.6 ± 0.5% vs. 6.8 ± 0.5%). Total sperm motility (80 ± 2.4% vs. 41.7 ± 2.4%) and progressive sperm motility (69.5 ± 2.9% vs. 31.5 ± 2.9%) (P < .001), as well as the percentage of morphologically normal sperm (45 ± 3.9% vs. 27.7 ± 3.9%), increased after SLC compared with control sample. In addition, the proportion of sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential increased (81.6 ± 1.8% vs. 42.1 ± 1.8%), as did the viability of sperm (71.1 ± 2.4% vs. 39.5 ± 2.4%), after SLC compared with the control sperm. The proportion of sperm with alteration in plasma membrane structure was lower after SLC compared with control sample (6.4 ± 1.1% vs. 18.9 ± 1.1%). Overall, sperm recovery was 72.7 ± 3.6% in the control sample compared with 14.8 ± 3.6% after SLC (P < .001). We conclude that based on the sperm parameters evaluated, SLC improves the quality of cryopreserved–thawed equine spermatozoa.

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