Preincubation with green tea polyphenol extract is beneficial for attenuating sperm injury caused by freezing‐thawing in swine
Polyphenols (PFs) extracted from green tea, known to be potent anti‐oxidants, have been reported to be effective in increasing the motility and viability of mammalian sperm, preserved in a liquid form. Therefore, we tested whether PFs might also be effective for maintaining the integrity of frozen‐thawed boar spermatozoa. Ejaculates, collected from Clawn miniature pigs, were diluted in a semen extender containing various amounts of PFs (0, 0.01, 0.05, 0.1 and 0.2% w/v) and then stored at 15°C overnight. The semen samples were processed, using the straw freezing procedure, and then frozen in liquid nitrogen. After rapid thawing at 40°C, the spermatozoa were subjected to several assays to evaluate semen quality. Spermatozoa frozen in a medium containing 0.01% w/v PFs exhibited significantly (P < 0.05) higher degrees of post‐thawed viability and acrosomal integrity than those stored in the absence of PFs. However, no change in the mitochondrial activity was noted between the two groups. The inclusion of 0.01% PFs in the semen extender was significantly (P < 0.05) effective in increasing both the rates of monospermic oocyte formation and of blastocyst formation. These findings indicate that preincubation with the semen extender, containing 0.01% PFs prior to freezing, exerts a protective effect on boar sperm by preventing injuries associated with freezing‐thawing.
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