Trehalose in glycerol-free freezing extender enhances post-thaw survival of boar spermatozoa

Rukmali Athurupana, Daisen Takahashi, Sumire Ioki, Hiroaki Funahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Cryopreservation of boar semen is still considered suboptimal due to lower fertility as compared with fresh samples when glycerol, a permeating cryoprotectant, is used. Trehalose is a non-permeable cryoprotectant and nonreducing disaccharide known to stabilize proteins and biologic membranes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the cryosurvival and in vitro penetrability of boar spermatozoa when glycerol was replaced with trehalose in a freezing extender. Ejaculated Berkshire semen samples were diluted in egg yolk-based freezing extender containing glycerol (100 mM) or trehalose (0, 50, 100, 150, 200 and 250 mM) and cryopreserved using a straw freezing procedure. Thawed samples were analyzed for motility, viability, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), and acrosome integrity. In experiment 2, penetrability of spermatozoa cryopreserved with 100 mM glycerol or trehalose was examined. Replacement of cryoprotectant glycerol (100 mM) with trehalose had no effect on sperm viability, but replacing it with 100 mM trehalose improved motility, MMP and acrosome integrity significantly. Sperm motility and MMP were considerably higher in 100 mM trehalose, whereas the acrosome integrity was substantially higher in 100–250 mM trehalose. The in vitro penetration rate was also significantly higher in spermatozoa cryopreserved with trehalose (61.3%) than in those cryopreserved with glycerol (43.6%). In conclusion, 100 mM non-permeable trehalose can be used to replace glycerol, a permeating cryoprotectant, for maintenance of better post-thaw quality of boar spermatozoa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Cryopreservation
  • Cryoprotectant
  • Pigs
  • Sperm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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