Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Aquaglyceroporins 3 and 7 in bull spermatozoa: identification, localisation and their relationship with sperm cryotolerance

Noelia Prieto-Martínez A F , Roser Morató A , Rodrigo Muiño B , Carlos O. Hidalgo C , Joan E. Rodríguez-Gil D , Sergi Bonet A and Marc Yeste E
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Department of Biology, Institute of Food and Agricultural Technology, University of Girona, C/ Maria Aurèlia Campany 65, Campus Montilivi, E-17071 Girona, Spain.

B Department of Animal Pathology, University of Santiago de Compostela, Avda. Carballo Calero s/n, E-27002 Lugo, Spain.

C Department of Animal Selection and Reproduction, The Regional Agri-Food Research and Development Service of Asturias (SERIDA), Camin de Rioseco 1225, La Olla, Deva, E-33394 Gijón, Spain.

D Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Building V, Campus Bellaterra s/n, E-08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona), Spain.

E Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Oxford, Level 3, Women’s Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK.

F Corresponding author. Email: noelia.prieto@udg.edu

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29(6) 1249-1259 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD16077
Submitted: 28 July 2015  Accepted: 31 March 2016   Published: 25 May 2016

Abstract

The present study aimed to determine the localisation of aquaglyceroporins 3 (AQP3) and 7 (AQP7) in bull spermatozoa and their relationship with the sperm cell’s resilience to withstand cryopreservation (i.e. cryotolerance). A total of 18 bull ejaculates were cryopreserved and their sperm quality analysed before and after freeze–thawing. The presence and localisation of AQP3 and AQP7 was determined through immunoblotting and immunocytochemistry. AQP3 was found in the mid-piece and AQP7 in the mid-piece and post-acrosomal region of bull spermatozoa. Immunoblotting showed specific signal bands at 30 and 60 kDa for AQP3 and at 25 kDa for AQP7. Neither the relative abundance of AQP3 and AQP7 nor their localisation patterns was altered by cryopreservation but individual differences between bull ejaculates were found in immunoblots. In order to determine whether these individual differences were related to sperm cryotolerance, bull ejaculates were classified as having good (GFE) or poor freezability (PFE) on the basis of their sperm quality after thawing. While the relative abundance of AQP3 before cryopreservation did not differ between ejaculates with GFE and PFE, the abundance of AQP7 was higher in GFE than in PFE ejaculates. This finding was further confirmed through principal component and linear regression analyses. In conclusion, the relative abundance of AQP7 in fresh semen may be used as a marker to predict bull sperm cryotolerance.

Additional keywords: AQP3, AQP7, bovine species, immunoblotting, immunocytochemistry, sperm cryopreservation.


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