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de Paz P.,University of Leon | Alvarez-Rodriguez M.,University of Leon | Nicolas M.,University of Leon | Alvarez M.,University of Leon | And 4 more authors.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals | Year: 2012

In order to establish a semen bank for the endangered Cantabrian brown bear, we tested five glycerol concentrations and three freezing rates for electroejaculated semen. Electroejaculation was performed on nine males. Semen was diluted in TES-Tris-Fructose (20% egg yolk, 2% EDTA, 1% Equex) with 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% or 10% glycerol and frozen at -10, -20 or -40°C/min. Before and after cryopreservation, samples were analysed for motility (CASA), viability and acrosomal status (flow cytometry). Pre-freezing results showed that glycerol concentration had no significant effect on total motility or progressive motility, but it significantly decreased VCL, ALH, viability and acrosomal status (p<0.05). After thawing, sperm motility was higher at extender with 4%, 6% and 8% glycerol, but only at 4% and 6% glycerol for viability and acrosomal status. For 4% and 6% glycerol, freezing rates did not have significant effects. The curve fitting gave an estimate of the optimal glycerol concentration, with all the optimal values for every parameter between 6% and 7% glycerol falling. We propose using 6% glycerol and a freezing velocity of -20°C/min for freezing brown bear ejaculated spermatozoa. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Nicolas M.,University of Leon | Alvarez M.,University of Leon | Borragan S.,Cabarceno Park | Martinez-Pastor F.,University of Leon | And 4 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2012

Centrifugation is a crucial procedure in sperm cryopreservation protocols of brown bear (Ursus arctos), because the semen must be processed to increase sperm concentration and/or clean urine-contaminated samples. The efficacy of three media for centrifugation (Maxifreeze [IMV technologies, L'Aigle, France], Cushion Fluid Equine (Minitübe, Tiefenbach, Germany), and PureSperm [Nidacon, Gothenburg, Sweden]) on the quality of bear spermatozoa was evaluated. In experiment one, two cushioned media used for protecting against mechanical stress during centrifugation were analyzed. In experiment two, a density gradient based on PureSperm was assessed in relation to the maximum retrieval and the quality of fresh spermatozoa, and the freezability of the spermatozoa selected in this density gradient was studied in experiment three. Finally, the selection of frozen-thawed sperm using PureSperm was analyzed in experiment four. Our results indicate that the use of dense isotonic cushion solutions (Maxifreeze, Cushion Fluid Equine) in centrifugation did not improve the quality of recovered spermatozoa compared with standard centrifugation. However, a density gradient prepared with PureSperm improved the quality of spermatozoa in fresh semen and frozen-thawed semen, but the spermatozoa selected from the fresh sample with this density gradient did not show a better resistance to freezing with this density gradient in comparison with the control sample. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Nicolas M.,University of Leon | Alvarez M.,University of Leon | Gomes-Alves S.,University of Leon | Mata-Campuzano M.,University of Leon | And 4 more authors.
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2011

The objective of this study was to determine how the extender and dilution ratio used during centrifugation affect bear spermatozoa quality before and after freezing-thawing. Semen was collected from 15 brown bears by electroejaculation. In experiment 1, semen was divided into five aliquots and diluted using one of the following extenders: Tris-citric-glucose (TCG), Tris-citric-glucose-3% BSA, Tris-citric-glucose-1% egg yolk or CaninePro. In experiment 2, semen was divided into five aliquots and diluted 1:1, 1:4, 1:8 or 1:16 (semen:extender) with Tris-citric-glucose. In both experiments, one aliquot was left undiluted and it was used as a control. All the aliquots were centrifuged at 600×g for 6 min and frozen. Samples were analysed by post-thawing for motility (CASA) and, by flow cytometry, for viability (YO-PRO-1), acrosomal status (PNA-FITC/PI) and mitochondrial status (JC-1). CaninePro rendered the highest motility with respect to the undiluted control (total motility, 53.1% vs. 38.5%, P < 0.001), and CaninePro and TCG significantly increased the percentage of viable and acrosome-intact spermatozoa (43.2 and 43.4, respectively, vs. 39.4, P < 0.05). In experiment 2, dilution 1:4 yielded the highest value of total motility (78.8 vs. 67.2, P < 0.05) and proportion of spermatozoa with intact membrane and acrosome (64.5 vs. 54.4, P < 0.01). In general, diluting 1:4 or 1:8 brown bear semen prior to centrifugation improved the motility and acrosome status of the thawed spermatozoa. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Alvarez-Rodriguez M.,University of Leon | Alvarez M.,University of Leon | Anel-Lopez L.,University of Leon | Martinez-Rodriguez C.,University of Leon | And 4 more authors.
Reproduction, Fertility and Development | Year: 2013

Egg yolk low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and soybean lecithin were evaluated as replacements for egg yolk in extenders used for the cryopreservation of brown-bear spermatozoa. The motility, viability and acrosomal status of post-thawed spermatozoa were analysed, and an egg-yolk extender was used as a control. The total antioxidant capacity of these extenders was tested. Soybean lecithin showed an effect that was dependent on the soybean concentration (2%, 3.5% and 5%) and source (Type A: 24% l-α-phosphatidylcholine, and Type B: 14-23% l-α-phosphatidylcholine). Only semen cryopreserved with 5% Type A soybean exhibited a sperm motility similar to that of semen cryopreserved in egg-yolk-based extender after thawing, although the sperm viability and acrosome status were not as high. Semen frozen in an extender containing LDL (10-15%) exhibited improved sperm viability in comparison with the control, but sperm motility was lower. The LDL-based extender exhibited a higher anti-oxidant activity than the egg-yolk extender and soy lecithin-based extenders. The extenders with higher anti-oxidant activity showed improvements in frozen sperm viability but lower semen motility. These results indicate that soybean lecithin did not have the same protective effect as egg yolk during the freezing of brown-bear spermatozoa but suggest that LDL (10-15%) could be a useful substitute for egg yolk in these extenders. © 2013 CSIRO.

Lopez-Uruena E.,University of Leon | Alvarez M.,University of Leon | Gomes-Alves S.,University of Leon | Martinez-Rodriguez C.,University of Leon | And 5 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2014

Specific protocols for the cryopreservation of endangered Cantabrian brown bear spermatozoa are critical to create a genetic resource bank. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of cooling rates and equilibration time before freezing on post-thawed brown bear spermatozoa quality. Electroejaculates from 11 mature bears were extended to 100 × 106 spermatozoa/mL in a TES-Tris-Fructose-based extender, cryopreserved following performance of the respective cooling/equilibration protocol each sample was assigned to, and stored at -196 °C for further assessment. Before freezing, after thawing, and after 1 hour's incubation post-thawing at 37 °C (thermal stress test), the quality of the samples was assessed for motility by computer-assisted semen analysis, and for viability (SYBR-14/propidium iodide), acrosomal status (peanut agglutinin-fluorescein isothiocyanate /propidium iodide), and sperm chromatin stability (SCSA) by flow cytometry. In experiment 1, three cooling rates (0.25 °C/min, 1 °C/min, and 4 °C/min) to 5 °C were assessed. After thawing, total motility (%TM) was higher and percentage of damaged acrosomes (%dACR) was lower (P < 0.05) for 0.25 °C/min than for 4 °C/min. The thermal stress test data indicated equally poor quality (P < 0.05) for the 4 °C/min cooled samples in viability (%VIAB), %dACR, %TM, and progressive motility (%PM). In experiment 2, the effect of a pre-freezing equilibration period at 5 °C for 1 hour (cooling at 0.25 °C/min) was evaluated. Samples kept at 5 °C for 1 hour showed higher (P < 0.05) values than the nonequilibrated ones for both thawing (%dACR) and thermal stress test (%VIAB, %TM, and %PM). In experiment 3, samples stored without cooling and equilibration (direct freezing) were compared with the samples cooled at 0.25 °C/min and equilibrated for 1 hour (control freezing). Using thermal stress test, we observed that direct freezing causes damage in viability, acrosomal status, and motility of spermatozoa compared with the control group (P < 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that slow cooling rates to 5 °C and at least 1 hour equilibration time are necessary for the effective cryopreservation of brown bear sperm. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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