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New strategies of boar sperm cryopreservation: Development of novel freezing and thawing methods with a focus on the roles of seminal plasma

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Cryopreservation of boar spermatozoa offers an effective means of long‐term storage of important genetic material. Many researchers have investigated how to improve reproductive performance by artificial insemination (AI) using cryopreserved boar spermatozoa. Recently, we and other groups reported that high conception rates (70–80%) can be achieved by AI with frozen‐thawed boar spermatozoa using a modified temperature program during freezing, or a novel cryopreservation extender to improve sperm quality (including sperm survivability, motility, membrane status and fertilization ability) after thawing, or a novel sperm infusion method, deep intra uterine insemination. However, these techniques have not yet been used for commercial pig production. The variation in sperm freezability among boars or among ejaculations in an identical boar is one of the main reasons for this problem. In our previous study, it was revealed that some components of seminal plasma have a negative effect on the freezability of boar sperm. One of these factors is bacteria‐released endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide: LPS). LPS binds to Toll‐like receptor‐4 (TLR‐4) expressed on the sperm surface, resulting in induction of apoptosis. On the other hand, seminal plasma suppresses cryo‐capacitation induced by thawing stress. On the basis of these findings, we designed a novel protocol of AI using frozen‐thawed boar sperm.
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Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: Smaller Livestock and Environment Section, Livestock Research Institute, Oita Prefectural Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Center, Oita 2: Department of Applied Animal Science, Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Japan

Publication date: 01 September 2012

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