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In vitro Effects of Salvia officinalis on Bovine Spermatozoa

Authors: Eva Tvrdá, Boris Botman, Marek Halenár, Tomáš Slanina, Norbert Lukáč


In vitro storage and processing of animal semen represents a risk factor to spermatozoa vitality, potentially leading to reduced fertility. A variety of substances isolated from natural sources may exhibit protective or antioxidant properties on the spermatozoon, thus extending the lifespan of stored ejaculates. This study compared the ability of different concentrations of the Salvia officinalis extract on the motility, mitochondrial activity, viability and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by bovine spermatozoa during different time periods (0, 2, 6 and 24 h) of in vitro culture. Spermatozoa motility was assessed using the Computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system. Cell viability was examined using the metabolic activity MTT assay, the eosin-nigrosin staining technique was used to evaluate the sperm viability and ROS generation was quantified using luminometry. The CASA analysis revealed that the motility in the experimental groups supplemented with 0.5-2 µg/mL Salvia extract was significantly lower in comparison with the control (P<0.05; Time 24 h). At the same time, a long-term exposure of spermatozoa to concentrations ranging between 0.05 µg/mL and 2 µg/mL had a negative impact on the mitochondrial metabolism (P<0.05; Time 24 h). The viability staining revealed that 0.001-1 µg/mL Salvia extract had no effects on bovine male gametes, however 2 µg/mL Salvia had a persisting negative effect on spermatozoa (P<0.05). Furthermore 0.05-2 µg/mL Salvia exhibited an immediate ROS-promoting effect on the sperm culture (P>0.05; Time 0 h and 2 h), which remained significant throughout the entire in vitro culture (P<0.05; Time 24 h). Our results point out to the necessity to examine specific effects the biomolecules present in Salvia officinalis may have individually or collectively on the in vitro sperm vitality and oxidative profile.

Keywords: Bulls, CASA, MTT test, reactive oxygen species, sage, Salvia officinalis, spermatozoa.

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