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The Effect of Curcumin on Cryopreserved Bovine Semen

Authors: Eva Tvrdá, Marek Halenár, Hana Greifová, Alica Mackovich, Faridullah Hashim, Norbert Lukáč


Oxidative stress associated with semen cryopreservation may result in lipid peroxidation (LPO), DNA damage and apoptosis, leading to decreased sperm motility and fertilization ability. Curcumin (CUR), a natural phenol isolated from Curcuma longa Linn. has been presented as a possible supplement for a more effective semen cryopreservation because of its antioxidant properties. This study focused to evaluate the effects of CUR on selected oxidative stress parameters in cryopreserved bovine semen. 20 bovine ejaculates were split into two aliquots and diluted with a commercial semen extender containing CUR (50 μmol/L) or no supplement (control), cooled to 4 °C, frozen and kept in liquid nitrogen. Frozen straws were thawed in a water bath for subsequent experiments. Computer assisted semen analysis was used to evaluate spermatozoa motility, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation was quantified by using luminometry. Superoxide generation was evaluated with the NBT test, and LPO was assessed via the TBARS assay. CUR supplementation significantly (P<0.001) increased the spermatozoa motility and provided a significantly higher protection against ROS (P<0.001) or superoxide (P<0.01) overgeneration caused by semen freezing and thawing. Furthermore, CUR administration resulted in a significantly (P<0.01) lower LPO of the experimental semen samples. In conclusion, CUR exhibits significant ROS-scavenging activities which may prevent oxidative insults to cryopreserved spermatozoa and thus may enhance the post-thaw functional activity of male gametes.

Keywords: Bulls, cryopreservation, curcumin, lipid peroxidation, reactive oxygen species, spermatozoa.

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