The Effect of Low Oxygen During the Early Phases of Sperm Freezing in Stallions With Low Progressive Motility: Can We Improve Post-Thaw Motility of Stallion Sperm?

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The objective of this study was to determine the effectiveness of oxygen removal in minimizing oxidative stress to improve fertile longevity of equine spermatozoa. Stallion ejaculates (n = 6) were treated with increasing doses of the oxygen scavenger Oxyrase (0.6 U/mL, 1.2 U/mL, 2.4 U/mL, and 5.0 U/mL). Samples were cryopreserved, thawed, and analyzed for motility over 24 hours at ambient temperature. These data suggest a role of excessive oxygen in the reduced motility of cryopreserved samples as 2.4 U/mL Oxyrase minimized the loss of post-thaw motility over the other doses and control treatments. Oxygen, a key component of reactive oxygen species generation, is directly involved in oxidative damage, and its removal may trigger metabolic changes that are more suited for post-thaw motility maintenance. Removal of oxygen from semen before cryopreservation may promote increased post-thaw fertility and may have the potential to overcome stallion variability in cryosurvival.

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