Supplementing cryopreservation media with reduced glutathione increases fertility and prolificacy of sows inseminated with frozen-thawed boar semen.
Estrada E., Rodríguez-Gil JE., Rocha LG., Balasch S., Bonet S., Yeste M.
The main aim of this work was to evaluate how supplementing freezing media with reduced glutathione (GSH) affected the 'in vivo' fertilizing ability of boar semen subjected to cryopreservation procedures. With this purpose, 12 ejaculates coming from 12 boars were cryopreserved in the presence or absence of 2 mm GSH, whereas the same number of extended ejaculates coming from the same boars was used as negative/farm controls. Eight different sperm parameters (levels of free-cysteine residues in sperm nucleoproteins, DNA fragmentation, sperm viability, acrosome-membrane integrity, intracellular peroxide and superoxide levels, and total and progressive sperm motility) were evaluated before freezing and after 30 and 240 min of thawing. In addition, a total of 180 multiparous sows were used in the field fertility trials, the females being randomly divided into three groups and inseminated with extended, frozen-thawed control or frozen-thawed semen supplemented with 2 mm GSH. The presence of GSH in the freezing media significantly (p < 0.05) increased farrowing rates and the number of total born piglets and alive born piglets, and partially counteracted the cryopreservation-induced damages inflicted on frozen-thawed spermatozoa. We can thus conclude that supplementing freezing media with 2 mm GSH greatly improves boar sperm cryopreservation technology, as it significantly improves the fertilizing ability of frozen-thawed spermatozoa.