Advances in sperm cryopreservation in farm animals: Cattle, horse, pig and sheep

Sperm cryopreservation is one of the most important procedures in the development of biotechnologies for assisted reproduction. In some farm animals, the use of cryopreserved sperm has so many benefits for which relevance has become more evident in recent decades. Values for post-thaw sperm quality, however, are variable among species and within individuals of the same species. There is no standardized methodology for each of the stages of the cryopreservation procedure (andrological examination, semen collection, dilution, centrifugation, resuspension of the pellet with the freezing medium, packaging, freezing and post-thaw sperm evaluation), which also contributes to differences among studies. Cryotolerance markers of sperm and seminal plasma (SP) have been evaluated for prediction of ejaculate freezability. In addition, in previous research, there has been a focus on supplementing cryopreservation media with different substances, such as enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. In most studies, inclusion of these substances have led to improved post-thaw sperm quality and fertilizing capacity as a result of minimizing the adverse effects on sperm structure and function. Another approach is the use of different cryoprotectants. The aim with this review article is to provide an update on sperm cryopreservation in farm animals. The main detrimental effects of cryopreservation are described, including the negative repercussion on reproductive performance. Furthermore, the potential use of molecular biomarkers to predict sperm cryotolerance is discussed, as well as the addition of substances that can mitigate the harmful impact of freezing and thawing on sperm ​
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