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

Glutamine protects rabbit spermatozoa against oxidative stress via glutathione synthesis during cryopreservation

Zhendong Zhu A , Xiaoteng Fan A , Yinghua Lv A , Yan Lin B , De Wu B and Wenxian Zeng A C

A College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, 22 Xi-nong Road, Yangling, Shaanxi, 712100, China.

B Key Laboratory for Animal Disease Resistance Nutrition of the Ministry of Education of China, Institute of Animal Nutrition, Sichuan Agricultural University, 211 Hui-min Road, Wenjiang, Chengdu, Sichuan, 611100, China.

C Corresponding author. Email: zengwenxian2013@126.com

Reproduction, Fertility and Development - https://doi.org/10.1071/RD17020
Submitted: 25 October 2016  Accepted: 7 February 2017   Published online: 27 March 2017

Abstract

Mammalian spermatozoa are extremely susceptible to high doses of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The aim of the present study was to investigate the potential role of glutamine in protecting rabbit spermatozoa against ROS stress during cryopreservation and post-thaw incubation. Freshly ejaculated semen was diluted with Tris–citrate–glucose extender supplemented with glutamine. The addition of 20 mM glutamine significantly improved sperm motility, acrosome integrity, membrane integrity and mitochondrial activity. Meanwhile, 20 mM glutamine addition decreased lipid peroxidation and DNA damage in frozen–thawed spermatozoa. Interestingly, supplementation with 20 mM glutamine led to increases in glutathione content and γ-glutamyl cysteine synthetase and glutathione peroxidase activity, with concomitant decreases in ROS levels during cryopreservation and post-thaw incubation. In conclusion, the addition of glutamine to extender solutions protects rabbit spermatozoa from ROS attack by enhancing glutathione synthesis.

Additional keywords: reactive oxygen species, semen.


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