Effects of Cryopreservation on Ca2+ Signals Induced by Membrane Depolarization, Caffeine, Thapsigargin and Progesterone in Boar Spermatozoa

  • Kim, Joon-Chul (College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Li, Yuhua (College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Lee, Sunwoo (College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Yi, Young-Joo (Research Center for Transgenic Cloned Pigs, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Park, Chang-Sik (Research Center for Transgenic Cloned Pigs, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Woo, Sun-Hee (College of Pharmacy, Chungnam National University)
  • Received : 2008.06.18
  • Accepted : 2008.09.08
  • Published : 2008.12.31

Abstract

Although the fertilizing ability of spermatozoa is greatly reduced after freezing, complete understanding of alterations induced by cryopreservation has not been elucidated. The present study evaluates the effects of cryopreservation on the $Ca^{2+}$ handling of boar spermatozoa using several sperm activators. Intracellular $Ca^{2+}$ signals from single spermatozoa were measured using confocal $Ca^{2+}$ imaging of unfrozen samples and of other spermatozoa after having been frozen. Elevation of the external $K^{2+}$ concentration elicited a three times larger $Ca^{2+}$ increase in fresh spermatozoa than in cryopreserved spermatozoa. Caffeine elicited $Ca^{2+}$ transients with some oscillations in the fresh spermatozoa, but not in the thawed spermatozoa. Depletion of the $Ca^{2+}$ store with thapsigargin induced a rapid rise in $Ca^{2+}$ in the control but generated a smaller increase of $Ca^{2+}$ after thawing. Exposure to progesterone induced a biphasic rise of the $Ca^{2+}$ level in the fresh spermatozoa only. Sperm viability was reduced by cryopreservation. Resting $Ca^{2+}$ levels in fresh and cryopreserved spermatozoa were similar. Longer incubation (2.5 h) of thawed spermatozoa partly recovered the $Ca^{2+}$ response to the interventions. These results suggest that cryopreservation reduces the responsiveness of spermatozoa to depolarization, modulators of the internal $Ca^{2+}$ store and progesterone in terms of the $Ca^{2+}$ signal, thus providing a possible mechanism for reduced fertility observed in cryopreserved boar spermatozoa.

Keywords

boar spermatozoa;confocal imaging;cryopreservation;intracellular $Ca^{2+}$

Acknowledgement

Supported by : Korea Ministry of Science and Technology, Korea Science and Engineering Foundation

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