Freezing canine sperm: comparison of semen extenders containing Equex and LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins).
Chicken egg yolk is held as an excellent cryoprotective agent for freezing canine semen. Recent advances have enabled the extraction of low density lipoproteins from egg yolk, which are responsible for the cryoprotective abilities of the latter. The objective of this article was to compare 3 semen extenders for freezing canine semen: 2 containing egg yolk (Tris egg yolk and Equex STAMP) and one containing 6% LDL. After freezing and thawing 20 ejaculates from 5 different dogs, the 6% LDL extender produced 50% mobile spermatozoa, compared with 48% with the Equex extender and 27.7% with the extender containing egg yolk alone (EY). In vitro functional tests demonstrated that the integrity of the plasma membrane (hypoosmotic test) was respected in 65-66% of spermatozoa as a function of the extender; DNA integrity was respected in more than 97% of the spermatozoa. The Equex extender provided superior acrosome integrity (FITC/PSA test): 68.4% compared with 55.1% with LDL and 53.3% with egg yolk. However, the 6% LDL extender resulted in fewer spermatozoal anomalies (Spermac test), with 54.6% normal spermatozoa compared to 53.6% for Equex and 53.3% with the egg yolk. All six of the bitches inseminated artificially via the intra-uterine route (Scandinavian technique) using semen frozen in the 6% LDL extender became pregnant. The LDL extender resulted in percentages of mobile spermatozoa and movement characteristics that were as good if not better than those obtained with the reference extenders following thawing. The 6% LDL extender appears to have the same cryoprotective qualities as the reference diluent, Equex STAMP. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.