Effect of antioxidant supplementation of cryopreservation medium on post-thaw integrity of human spermatozoa
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science
This study examined whether the addition of an antioxidant to cryopreservation medium could improve the post-thaw integrity of cryopreserved human spermatozoa, particularly from men with abnormal semen parameters. Semen samples were collected by masturbation and assessed following WHO standards. Normal (n = 23) and abnormal (n = 20) samples were divided into three aliquots prior to cryopreservation. The first aliquot remained untreated and was mixed with cryopreservation medium (in-house 1:1). The second and third aliquots were mixed with cryopreservation medium containing either 100 µmol or 200 µmol vitamin E analogue. Samples were frozen at −10° C per minute to −80°C, then plunged into liquid nitrogen. Thawed samples were assessed for motility, vitality and DNA integrity. Split-plot repeated-measures ANOVA was used to assess within-subject (dose) and between-group (normal/abnormal) differences in post-thaw motility index, vitality staining and DNA fragmentation. Vitamin E dose was significantly associated with post-thaw motility (P = 0.041) and the pattern of response across doses was similar for normal and abnormal groups. Post-thaw motility was significantly improved by the addition of 200 µmol vitamin E (P = 0.006), but neither vitality nor sperm DNA fragmentation were altered. These results suggest that the addition of vitamin E to cryopreservation medium improves post-thaw motility.