Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The effect of thawing velocities ranging from 10°C/min to 1.800°C/min on the motility and acrosomal integrity of boar spermatozoa frozen at 1°C/min (suboptimal), 5°C/min, and 30°C/min (optimal) rate was studied with the sperm suspended for freezing in diluent containing 2, 4, or 6% of glycerol (v/v). The influence of thawing on sperm survival depends on the rate at which the sperm had been frozen. In semen frozen at a suboptimal rate of 1°C/min, the percentage of motile sperm (FMP) initially fell to 3.5-4.0% when the thawing rose to 200°C/ min, but, with further increases in thawing rate, increased and reached peak values (10.3-11.0% FMP) after thawing at 1,800°C/min. The percentage of sperm with normal apical ridge (NAR) also increased moderately with thawing rate, but the degree of improvement decreased as the glycerol level was increased. In semen frozen at 1°C/min, acrosomal integrity (NAR) was best maintained in 2% glycerol, reaching 22.9% NAR after thawing at 1,800°C/min. In semen frozen at the optimal rate of 30°C/min, the increases in thawing rates above 200°C/min substantially improved motility. Motility was generally higher in semen protected by 4 or 6% glycerol, with the peak values of 44 or 46% FMP, respectively, after thawing at 1,200°C/min. The proportion of sperm with NAR also increased with thawing rate, but as in the case of suboptimally frozen sperm it was influenced negatively by the glycerol concentration. The peak value 53% NAR was recorded in semen protected by 2% glycerol, frozen at 30°C/min, and thawed at 1,200°C/min. In view of the inverse relationship between FMP and NAR, selection of optimal conditions from among the interacting variables, freezing rate, glycerol concentration, and thawing rate requires compromising between maximal FMP and maximal NAR. Accordingly, we have adopted as optimal a protocol with a thawing rate of 1,200°C/min, a freezing rate of 30°C/min and concentrations of 3% glycerol. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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