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Catalase supplementation on thawed bull spermatozoa abolishes the detrimental effect of oxidative stress on motility and DNA integrity

Authors

  • M. R. Fernández-Santos,

    1. Reproductive Biology Group, National Wildlife Research Institute (IREC), UCLM-CSIC-JCCM, and Game Research Institute (IDR), UCLM, Albacete, Spain
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  • A. E. Domínguez-Rebolledo,

    1. Reproductive Biology Group, National Wildlife Research Institute (IREC), UCLM-CSIC-JCCM, and Game Research Institute (IDR), UCLM, Albacete, Spain
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  • M. C. Esteso,

    1. Reproductive Biology Group, National Wildlife Research Institute (IREC), UCLM-CSIC-JCCM, and Game Research Institute (IDR), UCLM, Albacete, Spain
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  • J. J. Garde,

    1. Reproductive Biology Group, National Wildlife Research Institute (IREC), UCLM-CSIC-JCCM, and Game Research Institute (IDR), UCLM, Albacete, Spain
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  • F. Martínez-Pastor

    1. Reproductive Biology Group, National Wildlife Research Institute (IREC), UCLM-CSIC-JCCM, and Game Research Institute (IDR), UCLM, Albacete, Spain
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M. R. Fernández-Santos, National Wildlife Research Institute (IREC), UCLM-CSIC-JCCM, Av. de España, 02071 Albacete, Spain. E-mail: mrocio.fernandez@uclm.es

Summary

The potential protective effect of catalase supplementation during in vitro culture of frozen/thawed bull spermatozoa was investigated. Frozen/thawed semen collected from three fighting bulls was diluted in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) and incubated at 37 °C under different experimental conditions: Control, Catalase (CAT) (200 U/mL), Oxidant (OXI) (100 μm Fe2+/1 mm ascorbate), and Catalase + Oxidant (CAT/OXI). We assessed sperm motility, acrosomal integrity, viability and chromatin status (SCSA®) at 0, 2 and 6 h of incubation. Our results showed that catalase abolished the effect of the oxidant, protecting spermatozoa against reactive oxygen species, and improving both sperm motility and chromatin status during incubation. The OXI treatment significantly reduced the percentage of motile sperm after 6 h of incubation. The statistical model also showed that there were differences in sperm motility between CAT/OXI (20.8 ± 2.9%) and OXI (11.6 ± 7.6%) (p < 0.001). There were no significant effects of OXI on sperm viability, acrosomal status or proportion of abnormal tails. %DFI (spermatozoa with moderate or high DNA Fragmentation Index) was significantly higher on OXI (p < 0.001). Catalase prevented DNA fragmentation even in the presence of the oxidant (%DFI: 30.3 ± 0.8% OXI vs. 17.4 ± 0.7% CAT/OXI). We conclude that catalase supplementation after thawing could protect bull spermatozoa against oxidative stress, and it could improve media used for processing thawed spermatozoa.

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