Arbutin's suppression of cryodamage in goat sperm and its mechanism of cryoprotection.
ABSTRACT Arbutin (4-hydroxyphenyl-glucopyranoside) is a glycosylated hydroquinone present in high concentrations in the leaves of several plants capable of surviving prolonged, extreme dehydration. Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of arbutin on cryopreservation of goat sperm. In Experiment 1, goat sperm were frozen in extenders with various ratios of Tris-citric acid-glucose (TCG) and arbutin; concentrations of the latter were 0.0 (only TCG), 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 M (only arbutin)]. All extenders had 20% (v/v) egg yolk (EY) and 4% (v/v) glycerol (osmolality = 370 mOsm, pH = 7.0). Sperm motility and acrosome integrity were assessed using CASA, and fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled peanut agglutinin (FITC-PNA), respectively. Percentages of motile and progressively motile sperm improved with the addition of arbutin; results were optimal (89.0 and 70.0%, respectively; P < 0.05), with 0.4 M arbutin. Furthermore, arbutin improved (P < 0.05) post-thaw recovery rates for both motility and progressive motility. After incubation for 3 h, motility of frozen-thawed washed sperm improved (70%, P < 0.05) with arbutin in the extender. The percentage of sperm with an intact acrosome peaked (77.2%, P < 0.05) with 0.4 M arbutin in the extender. In Experiment 2, the percentage of cells with merocyanine 540/Yo-Pro staining was higher in sperm treated with arbutin than with TCG (P < 0.05), with the best result (58.0%) with 0.4 M arbutin; therefore, arbutin increased membrane fluidity. In conclusion, substitution of a TCG-EY diluent composition with arbutin improved freezability of goat sperm (apparently due to increased membrane fluidity). Furthermore removal of arbutin by centrifugation after freezing and thawing increased sperm longevity.