Effect of cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins on bull and goat sperm processed with fast or slow cryopreservation protocols
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Cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins (CLC) added to the sperm before cryopreservation enhance sperm quality after freeze-thawing in several cold shock-sensitive species, including cattle and goats. However, all studies conducted to date have used conventional protocols, in which sperm are cooled slowly to 5 degrees C before freezing. As cholesterol plays a significant role in sperm cold shock resistance, it is possible that CLC-treated sperm can withstand cooling damage when the sperm are not cooled slowly to 5 degrees C before freezing. In this study, we determined whether CLC-treated goat (1 mg CLC/120x10(6) sperm) and bull (2 mg CLC/120x10(6) sperm) sperm quality, after thawing, was different for sperm frozen using conventional protocols (including a slow cooling phase to 5oC) and protocols in which the sperm were frozen from room temperature, without cooling the sperm slowly to 5 degrees C before freezing. CLC-treated sperm exhibited higher percentages of plasma membrane-intact sperm than control sperm when cryopreserved using conventional protocols. In addition, CLC treatment enhanced both sperm motility and plasma membrane integrity when sperm were frozen directly from room temperature. However, this treatment did not fully prevent the damage of the sperm after cooling rapidly and subsequent freezing, as the sperm quality was lower than that presented by the samples frozen using the conventional protocol. The results are promising, but studies to optimize the protocols for freezing sperm directly from room temperature need to be conducted, as well as studies to determine how cryopreserving sperm in this manner affects other sperm functions.