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Functional Activity of Frozen Thawed Chinchilla lanigera Spermatozoa Cryopreserved with Glycerol or Ethylene Glycol

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The cryopreservation of spermatozoa constitutes a valuable tool for the captive breeding management of valuable and/or threatened species. Chinchilla lanigera is a species almost extinct in the wild, and the domestic counterpart has one of the most valuable pelts in the world. The objectives of this study were to: (i) compare the functional activity of post-thawed chinchilla spermatozoa cryopreserved at −196°C either with glycerol (G) or ethylene glycol (EG) as cryoprotectants (1 mfinal concentration) and (ii) investigate the effects of incubating the gametes for 4 h in the presence or in the absence of the cryoprotectants; evaluations were performed taking into account motility, viability, response to hypo-osmotic shock and acrosome integrity of the cells. Parameters reflecting post-thaw (0 h) sperm functional activity were significantly lower than those of freshly ejaculated gametes. When comparing the cryoprotectant efficiency of G vs EG, neither cryoprotectant agent offered appreciable advantages. After 4 h of incubation, in the presence or absence of the cryoprotectant agent, a rapid and significant decrease was found in all functional parameters and remained at ∼ 20–30% motile, viable and viable acrosome intact cells. Viability was significantly lower when the cryoprotectant was removed from the media (possibly due to the centrifugation process). With respect to the maintenance of sperm membrane integrity, only ∼ 10% of cells showed membrane resistance to hypo-osmotic conditions after the 4 h incubation period. These results constitute new insights for cryopreservation protocols and the development of assisted reproductive techniques in this species.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2008

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