In an attempt to find a suitable freezing method for goat semen, two experiments were conducted to study the influence of trehalose on the cryopreservation of goat spermatozoa. In experiment 1, goat spermatozoa were frozen in trehalose extender (0.375 M) alone (100%) or at different combinations of trehalose with Tris-citric acid-glucose (TCG) extender (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%). Final concentrations of 20% (v:v) egg yolk and 4% (v:v) glycerol were employed in the extenders (osmolality = 370, pH = 7). Sperm motility was assessed using a computer-assisted sperm analysis system and acrosome integrity was assessed using fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled peanut agglutinin (FITC-PNA). The sperm-motility parameters improved significantly by increasing the concentration of trehalose (P < 0.05) and significantly high recovery rates for the motility parameters were also achieved by a high concentration of trehalose (P < 0.05). Motility of the frozen-thawed spermatozoa after a 3-h incubation improved significantly with increasing concentrations of trehalose in the extender (P < 0.05). The 75% and 100% trehalose extenders yielded a significant increase in the percentage of spermatozoa with intact acrosome (P < 0.05). In experiment 2, merocyanine 540/Yo-Pro staining was used to study the influence of trehalose on membrane fluidity compared with that of sucrose and TCG. Percentage of cells with high merocyanine fluorescence was significantly higher in spermatozoa treated with trehalose than sucrose or TCG (P < 0.05), indicating a significantly highest membrane fluidity of sperm samples extended with trehalose solution. We thus conclude that the substitution of a Tris-citric acid diluent composition with trehalose significantly improves the freezability of goat spermatozoa. Furthermore, the cryoprotective effects of trehalose observed in this study may be due to enhanced sperm membrane fluidity before freezing.
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