ABSTRACT: This study tested whether variable temperatures (from -0.5 to 15 °C) and air exposure could be used under laboratory and under field conditions to store stallion sperm diluted in extender INRA96 without loss of fertility. Experiment 1 (laboratory conditions) measured the effects of two 72 h storage conditions (5 °C with air vs. 15 °C without air). Experiment 2 (fixed field conditions) measured the effects of 22 h of storage without air in disposable containers maintained at four ambient temperatures (7 °C, 17 °C, 27 °C, 39 °C with semen at -0.5 °C to 3 °C, 4 °C to 7 °C, 8 °C to 10 °C, 12 °C to 15 °C, respectively). Per cycle pregnancy rate (PC) was measured after one artificial insemination (AI) in uterine body of 200×10(6) total spermatozoa, 7 h (Experiment 1) or 17 h (Experiment 2) before ovulation. In Experiment 1, PC was similar for both conditions (60% (n=40 cycles) vs. 63% (n=40), respectively, 5 stallions×8 cycles). Only velocity VCL and ALH were slightly higher at 15 °C. In Experiment 2, PC was reduced when ambient temperature was low (semen at -0.5 °C to 3 °C; PC=25%) rather than intermediate (semen at 4 °C to 7 °C; PC=53%) or high (semen at 8 °C to 10 °C; PC=50%) (4 stallions×8 cycles) (P=0.002). Sperm stored at -0.5 °C to 3 °C had lower acrosome integrity/responsiveness, similar membrane integrity (HOS test) and motilities, and higher VCL and ALH, than semen stored between 4 and 15 °C. These results demonstrate a wide tolerance of equine sperm to variable positive temperatures and air exposure for 22 h storage and more. However, temperatures close to 0 °C are detrimental for fertility.
Theriogenology 05/2012; 78(2):297-307. · 1.96 Impact Factor