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The aim of the study was to ascertain effects of different concentrations of relaxin added to extender medium during the pre-freezing incubation periods on quality variables of stallion frozen-thawed spermatozoa. Semen samples collected from three stallions were filtered, diluted with skim milk, and centrifuged at 600g for 10 min. Sperm pellets were suspended in BotuCrio freezing medium to a final concentration of 50 × 106 sperm/mL. The diluted semen was divided into five experimental groups supplemented with 0 (control), 12.5, 25, 50, or 100 ng/mL of relaxin. The semen samples were transferred into 0.5 mL straws, equilibrated at 5 °C for 30 min, and placed in liquid nitrogen (LN2) vapour for 15 min before being plunged into LN2. After thawing, sperm samples were evaluated for motility and velocity variables, mitochondrial membrane potential, apoptosis, and plasma membrane and DNA integrities. For sperm motility variables, there were dose- and time-dependent effects, with the largest values recorded when 12.5 and 25 ng/mL relaxin were used for 0-120 min of incubation. Furthermore, at all of the concentrations at which there were evaluations, relaxin additions to semen diluent led to a marked improvement in sperm mitochondrial membrane potential and a lesser percentage of apoptotic cells compared to the control group. Plasma membranes and DNA integrities were not affected by relaxin supplementations to the diluent. In conclusion, supplementation of relaxin in extender before semen cryopreservation, especially at 12.5 and 25 ng/mL, had a positive effect on the sperm quality variables. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Ahmed R Elkhawagah, Tiziana Nervo, Mariagrazia Poletto, Nicola A Martino, Davide Gallo, Alessia Bertero, Leila Vincenti. Effect of relaxin on semen quality variables of cryopreserved stallion semen. Animal reproduction science. 2020 May;216:106351

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PMID: 32414467

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