The aim of this study was to analyse and identify specific buffalo seminal plasma proteins (SPPs) responsible for sperm cryotolerance during low temperature storage. Computer Assisted Sperm Analysis (CASA) of the motility and viability of buffalo spermatozoa was performed before freezing and after thawing. Two sample groups were formed – ejaculates with high cryotol- erance (group A) and low cryotolerance (group B). CASA demonstrated that the initial progres- sive motility after thawing of the spermatozoa in group A is significantly higher than in group B (p<0.001). Group B showed a significant increase in the percentage of static and non-progressive spermatozoa at 240 min, when compared to group A (p<0.05). SPPs, proteins in the cryoprotec- tive medium (PM) and proteins in the mixture of PM and SP were separated by High Perfor- mance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Comparative analysis of the chromatographic profiles was performed to identify specific proteins related to sperm cryotolerance. SPPs profiles showed 5 distinct protein peaks in both groups, ranging from 500 kDa to 50 Da. Chromatograms of group A and group B showed quantitative and qualitative differences in protein content. Chromato- grams of proteins in PM showed 11 well-expressed peaks. HPLC analysis of the mixtures of SPPs from the two groups and PM visualized the formation of a new bio-complex structure expressed by a protein peak specific for group A (7.674 min, AU 1.50). This protein peak can be referred as a phenotypic trait for buffalo ejaculates with high sperm cryotolerance.
The aim of this study was to identify the proteoforms of albumin and kallikrein in stallion seminal plasma (SP), and to determine their correlations with sperm motility parameters. The experimental material consisted of ejaculates from 8 stallions, which were collected during the breeding and non-breeding seasons (BS and NBS, respectively). SP proteins were identified by 2-D PAGE and mass spectrometry (MALDI TOT/TOF MS). Sperm motility parameters were analyzed using the CASA system. Protein expression (integrated optical density-IOD) of albumin proteoforms 1 (ALB 1) and 2 (ALB 2) and kallikrein proteoforms 1 (KAL 1) and 2 (KAL 2) was correlated (p<0.05) with sperm motility parameters (total motility and progressive motility) during the BS. No significant correlations were found between the expression of albumin or kallikrein and sperm motility parameters during the NBS. The presence of correlations between the expression of ALB 1, ALB 2, KAL 1, KAL 2 and selected sperm motility parameters could suggest that the analyzed components of the SP belong to the group of fertility-associated pro- teins (FAPs).
In our recent study we demonstrated that the holding of fresh semen in fractionated seminal plasma (SP1, >40 kDa; SP2, <40 kDa), obtained by gel filtration chromatography, significantly improved the sperm quality characteristics following cryopreservation (Wasilewska-Sakowska et al. 2019). In this study we investigated the effect of post-thaw (PT) supplementation of fractionated SP (SP1 and SP2) on the survival of spermatozoa from boars with good and poor semen freezability, GSF and PSF, respectively. Two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) analysis showed distinct differences in the protein profiles of SP1 and SP2 from boars with GSF or PSF regarding the number of protein spots. Sperm motility characteristics and the motion patterns, assessed using the computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system, were markedly higher in PT semen supplemented with SP1 and SP2 from boars with GSF. Post-thaw supplementation of either SP1 or SP2 from boars with GSF significantly improved mitochondrial function, plasma membrane and acrosome integrity, and viability during storage. The findings of this study have confirmed that the presence of protective protein components in varying abundance in either fractionated SP from boars with good freezability ejaculates significantly improved the sperm survival following PT storage.