Frozen-Thawed Semen Protocol Produces Satisfactory Fertility in Horses

Fixed-time insemination of frozen-thawed stallion spermatozoa resulted in decent embryo recovery rates.
frozen stallion spermatozoa, frozen-thawed stallion semen
Insemination with frozen-thawed spermatozoa requires intensive management but produces satisfactory embryo recovery rates. | Adobe Stock

Insemination of mares with frozen-thawed spermatozoa requires intensive management and results in 40-60% per cycle pregnancy rates. This uncontrolled field trial aimed to determine if satisfactory fertility is possible for frozen-thawed semen after processing it through a microfluidic device, followed by storage at 17°C (62.6°F) for up to 24 hours before fixed-time insemination. 

Research Methodology

First, the researchers used computer-assisted sperm assessment (CASA) to evaluate the motility of frozen-thawed spermatozoa from five stallions after centrifugation and storage at 17°C in two different media (Botusemen Gold or SpermSafe) for up to 48 hours. Subsequently, they evaluated the motility of frozen-thawed semen from four stallions processed through a microfluidic device, resuspended in the two different media during storage at 17°C for up to 24 hours. Finally, they evaluated the fertility of frozen-thawed spermatozoa from three stallions after microfluidic sorting and storage at 17°C for up to 24 hours after fixed-time insemination of 42 mare cycles in a commercial embryo program. 

Research Findings

The stallion significantly influenced sperm motility, but media had no effect on motility parameters. Storage time significantly affected sperm motility after centrifugation but not after microfluidic sorting. Storage time had no effect on the overall embryo recovery rate (52%, n = 42). 

Bottom Line

Fixed-time insemination of frozen-thawed spermatozoa after microfluidic sorting and storage at 17°C for up to 24 hours produced satisfactory embryo recovery rates.

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