Effect of the primary cooling rate on the motility and fertility of frozen-thawed rabbit spermatozoa

Tatsuhiro Maeda, Enqi Liu, Kazutoshi Nishijima, Shinji Yamaguchi, Masatoshi Morimoto, Teruo Watanabe, Jianglin Fan, Shuji Kitajima


In the present study, we examined the effect of primary cooling rates on the motility and fertility of frozen-thawed rabbit spermatozoa. Rabbit semen diluted with an egg-yolk acetamide extender was cooled from room temperature to 5°C at four different rates (-0.1, -0.2, -0.4, -0.8°C/min) as a primary cooling step, then semen was frozen in liquid nitrogen vapour. After thawing, sperm cooled at -0.1°C/min showed the highest motility (40.7 ± 7.3%); there were no significant differences between the motilities of the -0.1, -0.2, and -0.4°C/min groups. The motility of frozen-thawed sperm cooled at -0.8°C/min (29.2 ± 6.8%) was significantly lower than that of sperm cooled at -0.1 and -0.2°C/min. The viability (-0.1°C/min, 38.1 ± 4.0%; -0.8°C/min, 24.3 ± 7.3%) of frozen-thawed sperm was closely related to its motility (-0.1°C/min, 36.7 ± 7.2%; -0.8°C/min, 22.3 ± 4.7%). Quality of post-thaw motile sperm cooled at different rates was estimated by comparing the fertilisation ability of the -0.1 and -0.8°C/min groups following artificial insemination. There were no significant differences in pregnancy rates and mean litter sizes. These data suggest that cooling rabbit semen at rates ranging from -0.1 to -0.8°C/min affects the viability but not the fertilisation capacity of motile spermatozoa after thawing.


cryopreservation; cooling rate; motility; spermatozoa

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1. Strategies for Highly Efficient Rabbit Sperm Cryopreservation
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Animals  vol: 11  issue: 5  first page: 1220  year: 2021  
doi: 10.3390/ani11051220


 Universitat Politècnica de València


Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)


e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011   https://doi.org/10.4995/wrs