Anim Reprod Sci 2018 Feb 21;189:77-83. Epub 2017 Dec 21.
Artificial Breeding Research Centre, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, 132001, Haryana, India.
Anandamide (AEA), an endocannabinoid, has been shown to reduce capacitation and acrosomal exocytosis in human spermatozoa. Because buffalo spermatozoa are highly susceptible to cryopreservation induced damage, AEA was assessed as to whether it could protect spermatozoa from cryo-damage. Six ejaculates from six Murrah buffalo bulls (total 36 ejaculates) were utilized for the study. Each ejaculate was divided into four aliquots; spermatozoa in Aliquot 1 were extended in Tris-Citrate-Egg Yolk and frozen as per the standard protocol. Spermatozoa in Aliquots 2, 3 and 4 were incubated with AEA at 1 nM, 1 μM and 10 μM, respectively in Tris-Citrate extender for 15 min at 37 °C before cryopreservation. Cryopreserved spermatozoa were thawed at 37 °C for 30 s before assessment of sperm motility, membrane integrity, capacitation, acrosome reaction, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and lipid peroxidation status. The proportion of motile and membrane intact spermatozoa were greater (P < 0.05) with use of 1 μM AEA incorporated group compared with other groups. The proportion of un-capacitated and acrosome intact spermatozoa was greater (P < 0.05) with use of 1 or 10 μM of AEA compared with the other groups. When compared to the control group, use of 1 μM AEA resulted in a greater proportion of spermatozoa with high MMP (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the lipid peroxidation status of spermatozoa among any of the four groups. It was inferred that the protective role of AEA during cryopreservation of buffalo spermatozoa was dose dependent and incubation of spermatozoa with AEA at 1 μM concentration prior to cryopreservation reduced cryo-capacitation and improved post-thaw sperm quality in buffalo.