Specific Activity of Superoxide Dismutase in Stallion Seminal Plasma Is Related to Sperm Cryotolerance

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While the removal of seminal plasma is a routine practice prior to equine sperm cryopreservation, this fluid contains the main source of antioxidant enzymes able to scavenge these reactive oxygen species. Therefore, stallion seminal plasma components may have an impact on ejaculate freezability. Against this background, this study was designed to investigate whether the activities of the main stallion seminal plasma antioxidant enzymes are related to sperm cryotolerance. With this purpose, 16 ejaculates were collected from 14 healthy stallions, and each ejaculate was split into two aliquots. The first one was used to evaluate the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and glutathione reductase (GSR) in seminal plasma. The second aliquot was extended and then processed for cryopreservation. Sperm motility and viability were evaluated before and after cryopreservation, and ejaculates were classified as of good (GFE) or poor freezability (PFE) based on total motile and viable spermatozoa at post-thaw. We observed that, while the specific activities of CAT, GPX, and GSR were similar between GFE and PFE, that of SOD was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in GFE than in PFE. We can thus conclude that, in stallions, the specific activity of SOD in the seminal plasma of a given ejaculate might be related to its freezability ​
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