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This study investigated the hypothesis that post-thaw incubation of ram sperm at high concentrations results in a faster rate of DNA fragmentation than when sperm are incubated at a lower concentration. Ejaculates from 10 rams were frozen-thawed, prepared in sperm concentrations of 100, 50, 25, 12, and 6 x 10(6) sperm/mL, and incubated for 6 h at 37 degrees C. Sperm DNA fragmentation was assessed using the sperm chromatin dispersion test (Sperm-Halomax(R)) at 1, 3, 4, and 6 h of incubation at 37 degrees C. On fitting a binary logistic regression with a cubic over time and treating ram and dilution levels as factors, there were significant effects with respect to the ram, dilution and time (all P-values were very much smaller than 0.001). Therefore, DNA fragmentation dynamics of incubated frozen-thawed ram sperm were not only dependent on the inherent sperm DNA fragmentation expressed immediately after thawing, but also on the concentration of sperm incubated in the sample. Although there was evidence of individual ram variation in SDF during the incubation period, the general finding of the current study was that lower sperm concentrations resulted in a slower rate of DNA fragmentation These findings have important implications for the post-thaw manipulation of ram sperm used for AI and advanced reproductive procedures that use sperm at low concentrations. Our data also emphasised the highly dynamic nature of sperm DNA fragmentation and the importance of conducting the procedure in a standardised manner.
Departamento de Biología, Unidad de Genética, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM). 20849-Madrid. España.
This article was published in the following journal.
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