Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Article

Improvement of in vitro fertilization by a tannin rich vegetal extract addition to frozen thawed boar sperm

Giovanna Galeati; Diego Bucci; Chiara Nerozzi; Beatrice Gadani; Carlo Tamanini; Beatrice Mislei; Marcella Spinaci

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Abstract: Boar spermatozoa are very susceptible to cryopreservation injuries and, for this reason, pig remains one of the few species in which fresh semen is still preferred to thawed one for routine artificial insemination (AI). The present work evaluated the effect of supplementing boar sperm thawing medium with Silvafeed SP (SSP), a mixture of Chestnut and Quebracho wood extracts (60/40 w/w) rich in polyphenols (92.4% tannin content) on in vitro fertilization (IVF) and on the following sperm parameters: sperm motility (assessed by CASA), viability, acrosome integrity, mitochondrial function and lipid peroxidation (assessed by flow cytometry) and capacitation status (immunolocalization of tyrosine phosphorylated proteins). Thawed spermatozoa were incubated 1 h at 37°C in BTS without (CTR) or with (5, 10, 20 µg/mL) SSP. After incubation sperm suspension was divided in three aliquots: one was used for IVF trials, one for sperm analysis, and the last one was capacitated for 1 h at 39°C 5% CO2 in IVF medium. Sperm motility parameters, viability, acrosome integrity, mitochondrial functionality, lipid peroxidation and tyrosine phosphorylated protein immunolocalization, used as capacitation parameter, were not influenced by SSP. However, oocytes inseminated with thawed spermatozoa pretreated with all the different SSP concentrations presented a significant (P < 0.01) increase in penetration rate compared to CTR. In addition, 5 µg/mL SSP exerted a positive effect (P<0.05) on the total efficiency of fertilization. These results encourage the use of SSP in the thawing medium since post-thawing fertility is a limit for the large-scale use of boar frozen semen.


pig, frozen semen, polyphenols, fertilization


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