Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Rapid thawing of frozen bull spermatozoa by transient exposure to 70 °C improves the viability, motility and mitochondrial health

Hai Thanh Nguyen; Son Quang Do; Rukmali Athurupana; Takuya Wakai; Hiroaki Funahashi

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Abstract: Up to now, the definitive conclusion of the positive effects of rapid transient thawing at higher temperatures for shorter durations has not been obtained yet and is still under discussion due to some contradictory findings and limited assessment of post-thawed parameters. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effectiveness of rapid thawing in water at 70 °C by using various post-thawed parameters of frozen bull spermatozoa. Experiment 1, monitoring the change of temperature inside frozen bull straw thawed in water at different temperatures. Experiment 2, evaluation of various post-thawed characteristics of frozen bull spermatozoa thawed in water at different temperatures by using a computer-assisted sperm analysis, flow cytometry and immunocytochemistry. The time it took for the temperature inside the straw to warm up to 15 °C was nearly twice as faster when the straw was thawed in 70 °C water compared with 39 °C. Although there were differences among bulls, viability, motility, and mitochondrial membrane potential of spermatozoa thawed at 70 °C for 8 seconds and stabilized at 39 °C for 52 seconds were significantly higher than those of controls (thawed at 39 °C for 60 seconds) at 0 and 3 h after thawing. Just after thawing, however, there were no differences in acrosome integrity and distribution of phospholipase C zeta1, whereas mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production was significantly lower in spermatozoa thawed at 70 °C. From these results, we conclude that rapid thawing at 70 °C and then stabilization at 39 °C significantly improves viability, motility and mitochondrial health of bull spermatozoa rather than conventional thawing at 39 °C. The beneficial effect of rapid transient thawing could be due to shorter exposure to temperatures outside the physiological range, consequently maintaining mitochondrial health.


bull semen, cryopreservation process, phospholipase C zeta1 (PLCZ1), temperature of thawing


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