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    This study aimed to improve the quality of cryopreserved beef bull (Piedmontese) semen by incorporation of relaxin in diluted semen before cryopreservation procedures. Semen samples were collected from 4 proven fertile bulls, using artificial vagina, once per week for 8 consecutive weeks and pooled together then diluted with Bullxcell® extender, and supplemented with different concentrations of relaxin (0 (control), 25, 50 and 100 ng/ml) before cooling, equilibration and freezing procedures. Frozen semen was thawed and assessed for motility by Computer-Assisted Sperm Analysis and vitality parameters such as acrosome, plasma membrane and DNA integrities, apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential, mucus penetration and SOD activity. The developmental potential of bovine embryos produced in vitro by using relaxin-treated was also investigated. In the present study, 50 and 100 ng/ml relaxin incorporation in extended bull semen before cryopreservation induced a reduction of sperm motility immediately after thawing (0h), whereas, during long incubation periods (1-2 h), relaxin showed a significant positive effect on sperm quality by improving the sperm motility and velocity parameters. Interestingly, sperm vitality was improved by 25 and 100 ng/ml relaxin and the blastocyst developmental rate was significantly increased in the 25 ng/ml relaxin group compared with controls (52/118, 44.0% vs. 32/116, 27.6%, respectively). These findings suggest a potential use of relaxin at the doses tested in the present study as an additive in the cryopreservation media of bull semen to improve sperm quality. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.


    Ahmed R Elkhawagah, Nicola A Martino, Alessandro Ricci, Valentina Storti, Francesca Rumbolo, Anna Lange-Consiglio, Leila Vincenti. Effect of relaxin on cryopreserved beef bull semen characteristics. Cryobiology. 2020 Aug;95:51-59

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    PMID: 32561273

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