Effects of reduced glutathione on acrosin activity in frozen–thawed boar spermatozoa
Estrada E., Rodríguez-Gil JE., Rivera del Álamo MM., Peña A., Yeste M.
In pigs, acrosin activity in extended semen is correlated with reproductive performance and has recently been identified as a freezability marker. Reduced glutathione (GSH) is known to decrease sperm cryodamage and increase the reproductive performance of frozen–thawed boar spermatozoa. However, the effects of GSH on the acrosin activity of good and poor freezability ejaculates (GFE and PFE, respectively) is yet to be examined. The present study investigated how supplementing cryopreservation media with GSH affected acrosin activity in GFE and PFE, as well as the relationship between acrosin activity and reproductive performance in frozen–thawed boar spermatozoa. In addition, we examined whether the increase in fertility rates and litter sizes observed after the addition of 2 mM GSH to cryopreservation extenders was related to acrosin activity. Supplementing freezing media with 2 mM GSH partially counteracted the cryopreservation-related decrease in acrosin activity in GFE but not PFE. Acrosin activity was found to be significantly correlated with in vivo reproductive performance of frozen–thawed boar semen. In conclusion, the effects of adding GSH to freezing extenders on the acrosin activity of frozen–thawed boar spermatozoa rely on the intrinsic freezability of the ejaculate. Furthermore, the maintenance of proper acrosin activity could contribute to the increase in reproductive performance mediated by GSH.