The Impact of Reproductive Technologies on Stallion Mitochondrial Function

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ContentsThe traditional assessment of stallion sperm comprises evaluation of sperm motility and membrane integrity and identification of abnormal morphology of the spermatozoa. More recently, the progressive introduction of flow cytometry is increasing the number of tests available. However, compared with other sperm structures and functions, the evaluation of mitochondria has received less attention in stallion andrology. Recent research indicates that sperm mitochondria are key structures in sperm function suffering major changes during biotechnological procedures such as cryopreservation. In this paper, mitochondrial structure and function will be reviewed in the stallion, when possible specific stallion studies will be discussed, and general findings on mammalian mitochondrial function will be argued when relevant. Especial emphasis will be put on their role as source of reactive oxygen species and in their role regulating sperm lifespan, a possible target to investigate with the aim to improve the quality of frozen–thawed stallion sperm. Later on, the impact of current sperm technologies, principally cryopreservation, on mitochondrial function will be discussed pointing out novel areas of research interest with high potential to improve current sperm technologies.

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