Specific LED-based red light photo-stimulation procedures improve overall sperm function and reproductive performance of boar ejaculates.
Yeste M., Codony F., Estrada E., Lleonart M., Balasch S., Peña A., Bonet S., Rodríguez-Gil JE.
The present study evaluated the effects of exposing liquid-stored boar semen to different red light LED regimens on sperm quality and reproductive performance. Of all of the tested photo-stimulation procedures, the best pattern consisted of 10 min light, 10 min rest and 10 min of further light (10-10-10 pattern). This pattern induced an intense and transient increase in the majority of motility parameters, without modifying sperm viability and acrosome integrity. While incubating non-photo-stimulated sperm at 37 °C for 90 min decreased all sperm quality parameters, this reduction was prevented when the previously-described light procedure was applied. This effect was concomitant with an increase in the percentage of sperm with high mitochondrial membrane potential. When sperm were subjected to 'in vitro' capacitation, photo-stimulation also increased the percentage of sperm with capacitation-like changes in membrane structure. On the other hand, treating commercial semen doses intended for artificial insemination with the 10-10-10 photo-stimulation pattern significantly increased farrowing rates and the number of both total and live-born piglets for parturition. Therefore, our results indicate that a precise photo-stimulation procedure is able to increase the fertilising ability of boar sperm via a mechanism that could be related to mitochondrial function.