Quality, oxidative markers and DNA damage (DNA) fragmentation of red deer thawed spermatozoa after incubation at 37 °C in presence of several antioxidants
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Theriogenology, 2012 vol. 78, n. 5
Antioxidants may be useful for supplementing sperm extenders. We have tested dehydroascorbic acid (DHA), TEMPOL, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) and rutin on epididymal spermatozoa from red deer, during incubation at 37 °C. Cryopreserved spermatozoa were thawed, washed and incubated with 1 mm or 0.1 mm of each antioxidant, including oxidative stress (Fe2+/ascorbate). Motility (CASA and clustering of subpopulations), viability, mitochondrial membrane potential, and acrosomal status were assessed at 2 and 4 h. Lipoperoxidation, intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and DNA damage (DNA) status (TUNEL) were checked at 4 h. Oxidative stress increased ROS, lipoperoxidation and DNA damage. Overall, antioxidants negatively affected motility and physiological parameters. Only DHA 1 mm protected motility, increasing the fast and progressive subpopulation. However, it had a detrimental effect on acrosomal and DNA status, in absence of oxidative stress. Tempol and rutin efficiently reduced lipoperoxidation, ROS, and DNA damage in presence of oxidative stress. NAC was not as efficient as TEMPOL or rutin reducing lipoperoxidation or protecting DNA, and did not reduce ROS, but its negative effects were lower than the other antioxidants when used at 1 mm, increasing the subpopulation of hyperactivated-like spermatozoa at 2 h. Our results show that these antioxidants have mixed effects when spermatozoa are incubated at physiological temperatures. DHA may not be suitable because of prooxidant effects, but TEMPOL, NAC and rutin may be considered for cryopreservation trials. In general, exposure of red deer spermatozoa to these antioxidants should be limited to low temperatures, when only protective effects may develop.
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