Use of Cholesterol in Sperm Cryopreservation: Present Moment and Perspectives to Future
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Contents Sperm cryosurvival rates are not optimal for most species. Therefore, new cryopreservation strategies are needed with the objective of increasing the number of surviving sperm and the quality of those sperm after thawing. Cholesterol plays important roles in many sperm functions, including effects on membrane properties. One of these effects is to stabilize membranes at low temperatures. Thus, species that produce sperm which possess high membrane cholesterol : phospholipid ratios are more resistant to cold shock than sperm with low cholesterol : phospholipid ratios. Therefore, increasing the cholesterol content of sperm membranes may be a strategy that can improve sperm quality after freeze-thawing. In this review, information is presented related to using cyclodextrins pre-loaded with cholesterol for cryopreserving sperm from different species. The topics discussed include both in vitro and in vivo assessments of sperm quality after cryopreservation, as well as how increasing sperm cholesterol content affects other sperm functions.