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Canine-chilled Sperm: Study of a Semen Extender Made with Low-density Lipoproteins from Hen Egg Yolk Supplemented with Glutamine


Author’s address (for correspondence): D Bencharif, Laboratory of Biotechnology and Pathology of Reproduction, ONIRIS: Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire, Agroalimentaire et d’Alimentation BP 40706, 44307 Nantes, France.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of a combination of 6% low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and 20 mm glutamine in comparison with other extenders used for the refrigeration of canine semen: Tris egg yolk (EY) 20% and 6% LDL. The percentages of mobile spermatozoa after 4 days storage in a domestic refrigerator at +4°C were 53.1%, 44.2% and 52.2% for the 6% LDL + 20 mm glutamine, 20% EY and 6% LDL extenders respectively for 100% of the dogs. After 7 days of storage, these percentages fell to 37.8%, 26.4% and 33.6% in the same extenders for 50% of the dogs. In vitro fertility tests were performed with all of the extenders following the mobility results. These tests were conducted on the day of sampling (D0), and 48 and 96 h after sampling. The results of the hypo-osmotic swelling test were 82.6%, 81.2% and 85.7% on D0, 75.2%, 74.1% and 78.5% on D2, and 70.8%, 71% and 76.1% on D4 for the 6% LDL + 20 mm glutamine, 20% EY and 6% LDL extenders, respectively. For the FITC/pisum sativum agglutinin (PSA) test, the results were 81.5%, 70.2% and 84.8% on D0, 78.9%, 62.3% and 84.2% on D2, and 72.7%, 59.6% and 73.7% on D4 for the 6% LDL + 20 mm glutamine, 20% EY and 6% LDL extenders, respectively. The acridine orange test was positive; in nearly 100% of cases, none of the spermatozoa had been denatured on D0, D2 and D4. The 6% LDL + 20 mm glutamine and the 6% LDL extenders are capable of preserving spermatozoa that have been stored in a domestic refrigerator at +4°C for at least 4 days. This means that the spermatozoa retain good cytoplasmic membrane integrity, had not capacitated and contained intact DNA in comparison with spermatozoa preserved in the egg yolk extender. The duration of storage is a very important consideration when faced with the problem of sending semen over ever-greater distances.