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Vielsalm, Belgium

Blommaert D.,Center Europeen du Cheval | Franck T.,University of Liege | Donnay I.,Catholic University of Louvain | Lejeune J.-P.,Center Europeen du Cheval | And 3 more authors.
Cryobiology | Year: 2016

The aim of this work was to completely replace the egg yolk a classical diluent for freezing equine semen by a cyclodextrin-cholesterol complex. At the same time, the reduction in the glycerol content used for cryopreservation and the incubation time between sperm and the freezing media were evaluated. Horse ejaculates were frozen with four different freezing extenders: a frozen reference medium (IF) containing egg yolk and 2.5% glycerol and media without egg yolk but supplemented with 1.5 mg 2-hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin cholesterol (HPβCD-C) complex and containing either 1% (G1), 2% (G2) or 3% glycerol (G3). Three incubation times (90, 120 and 180 min) at 4 °C between the fresh semen and the different media were tested before freezing. Viability and motility analyses were performed with computer assisted semen analysis (CASA). Results showed that the freezing media containing the HPβCD-C complex with 1%, 2% and 3% glycerol significantly improve the 3 in vitro parameters of post thawing semen quality (viability, progressive and total mobilities) compared to IF. The best improvement of the parameters was obtained with G1 medium and the longest contact time. The substitution of egg yolk by HPβCD-C complex allows the decrease of protein charge of the medium while favouring the cholesterol supply to membrane spermatozoa offering it a better resistance to osmotic imbalance and a better tolerance to the glycerol toxicity. Our results highlight that the egg yolk of an extender for the freezing of horse semen can be completely substituted by HPβCD-C complex. © 2015 . Source

Vander Heyden L.,University of Liege | Vander Heyden L.,Center Europeen du Cheval | Lejeune J-P.,University of Liege | Lejeune J-P.,Center Europeen du Cheval | And 10 more authors.
Veterinary Record | Year: 2013

Osteochondrosis (OC) is the most common developmental orthopaedic disease in horses and represents a major problem to the horse industry. The complete mechanism of this multifactorial disease is not yet elucidated, but it is accepted that OC lesions are the result of intrinsic genetic and external factors. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the relationship between breeding management and OC. Breeding conditions were recorded, and a radiological examination was performed in 223 foals. Feeding practice and housing management were analysed in a multivariate model to determine risk factors for OC in three periods: gestation, birth to weaning and weaning to one-year-old. The major breakthrough of this study is the significant relationship between OC development and (1) the maternal nutrition during gestation and (2) the type of housing of the foals during their first year. It appears that mares fed with concentrates during gestation are more likely to produce foals that are subsequently affected by OC compared with other mares (P<0.05). Foals housed exclusively at pasture until one year of age are significantly less affected than foals exclusively housed in box or, alternatively, in box and at pasture (P<0.05). These results underline the role of the energy metabolism and the level of exercise in the aetiologic process of the disease, and help to develop preventive strategies during the crucial period of gestation to one year of age of the foal. Source

Parrilla-Hernandez S.,University of Liege | Parrilla-Hernandez S.,Center Europeen du Cheval | Ponthier J.,University of Liege | Ponthier J.,Center Europeen du Cheval | And 5 more authors.
Theriogenology | Year: 2014

Intraluminal fluid and excessive abnormal hyperedema are regularly used for the diagnosis of endometritis in the mare, which is routinely confirmed by the presence of neutrophils on endometrial smears. Studies show a relation between neutrophils and myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme contained in and released by neutrophils during degranulation or after cell lysis. This enzyme has been found in many fluids and tissues, and associated with different inflammatory pathologies in the horse. The aims of this study were to assess the presence and concentration of MPO in the equine uterus, and to investigate its relation with neutrophils, and other clinical signs of endometritis. Mares (n = 51) were evaluated for the presence of intraluminal fluid and excessive endometrial edema before breeding, and a small volume lavage and cytology samples were obtained. From 69 cycles, supernatant of the uterine flushes was analyzed with a specific equine MPO ELISA assay to measure MPO concentration. Cytology samples were used for the diagnosis of endometritis. Myeloperoxidase was present in the uterus of all estrus mares in highly variable concentrations. Myeloperoxidase concentrations were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in samples with positive cytologies and in the presence of intraluminal fluid. Occasionally, some samples with negative cytologies showed high MPO concentration, but the opposite was never observed. Cycles presenting hyperedema weren't associated with high concentration of MPO, intraluminal fluid, or positive cytology, making it a poor diagnostic tool of endometritis. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Ponthier J.,University of Liege | Ponthier J.,Center Europeen du Cheval | Franck T.,University of Liege | Parrilla-Hernandez S.,University of Liege | And 7 more authors.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals | Year: 2014

Contents: Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a pro-oxidant enzyme associated with decreased motility in thawed equine semen. This study aimed to describe MPO concentration, activity and subunits in raw and thawed semen and to correlate these data with motilities in raw and thawed semen. Semen samples from five stallions were collected four times. Motilities were assessed in raw and thawed semen. MPO assays were performed in raw seminal plasma, raw sperm-rich pellet and thawed semen. Total and active MPO concentrations were, respectively, assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and specific immunological extraction followed by enzymatic detection. MPO subunits present in semen were characterized by Western blot. Purified active MPO was added in saline solution and freezing extender to control its activity during freezing procedure. Differences between medians were determined using Kruskal-Wallis test, and correlations were determined using Spearman's test for nonparametric data. Active MPO concentration was low in seminal plasma and thawed semen, but high in pellet (p = 0.0058), as the opposite relation was observed for total MPO concentration (p < 0.0001). In seminal plasma and post-thaw semen, inactive 86-kDa MPO precursor was mainly observed. Purified MPO activity was decreased in the extender (p = 0.0286). MPO activity in pellet was highly correlated with thawed progressive motility (r = -0.5576, p = 0.0086). Inactive MPO precursor and unknown low molecular weight inactive MPO precursor subunits explain low MPO activity in semen. Major MPO activity was observed in pellet, and post-thaw loss of activity is partially explained by MPO inactivation in extender. Thawed semen motility was negatively correlated with MPO activity in pellet, becoming a potential freezability predictor. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH. Source

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