The Effect of Oxidative Stress on Thawed Bulk-Sorted Red Deer Sperm

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The aims of this study were to assess the effects of the sex-sorting process on post-thaw sperm quality as well as on induced oxidative stress damage (H2O2 0 mm = H000; H2O2 50 mm = H050; H2O2 100 mm = H100) and the protective action of reduced glutathione (GSH) and Trolox, when comparing sorted (BSS) and non-sorted (NS) red deer spermatozoa incubated at 37°C. Sperm samples from three stags were collected by electroejaculation and frozen. Immediately after thawing, sperm motility was higher (p < 0.05) for NS (59% ± 3.3) than BSS (36.9% ± 5.8) sperm. Furthermore, the percentage of apoptotic sperm was higher (p < 0.05) for BSS (21.6% ± 5.0) than NS sperm (14.6% ± 1.2). The presence of H2O2 increased DNA damage in NS (H000 = 4.1% ± 0.9; H050 = 9.3% ± 0.7; and H100 = 10.9% ± 2.3), but not in BSS sperm. However, in the presence of oxidant, GSH addition improved (p < 0.05) sperm motility in both groups of sperm samples as compared to their controls (NS: 44.5 ± 4.8 vs 21.1 ± 3.9 and BSS: 33.3 ± 8.1 vs 8.9 ± 1.8). These results demonstrate that the sperm-sorting process induces sublethal effects, albeit selecting a sperm population with a chromatin more resistant to oxidative stress than that in non-sorted sperm. Moreover, addition of GSH at 1 mm may be a good choice for maintaining the quality of stressed sperm samples, unlike Trolox, which inhibited sperm motility.

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