CRYOBIOLOGY, vol.67, pp.124-131, 2013 (SCI-Expanded)
The fertility of goat sperm is highly variable and new methods for improving sperm cryosurvival are needed. Cholesterol plays important roles in membrane fluidity, cold shock sensitivity and cryodamage, and treating sperm from cold-shock sensitive species with cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins (CLC) prior to cryopreservation enhances sperm cryosurvival. The aim of this study was to develop a CLC-treatment to optimize goat sperm cryopreservation. A total of 45 ejaculates coming from eleven adult Murciano-Granadina bucks were used and three experiments were conducted to determine: (1) the optimal CLC concentration to treat goat sperm; (2) the optimal time to treat the sperm (before or after seminal plasma removal); and (3) optimal freezing diluent (either of two Tris-citrate diluents containing 2% or 20% egg yolk and 4% glycerol or a skim milk diluent with 7% glycerol) to cryopreserve goat sperm. Goat sperm cryosurvival rates were greatest when they were treated with 1 mg CLC/120 × 106 sperm prior to freezing. The benefit was also greatest if the sperm were treated with CLC after seminal plasma removal. Finally, CLC treatment improved sperm cryosurvival rates for sperm frozen in all three diluents, however, CLC treatment was most effective for sperm frozen in egg-yolk diluents. In conclusion, treating goat sperm, with CLC prior to cryopreservation, improved sperm cryosurvival rates. In addition, CLC treatment was effective for all freezing diluents tested, making this technology practical for the industry using current cryopreservation techniques. Nevertheless, additional studies should be conducted to determine how CLC might affect sperm functionality and fertilizing ability.