Background: Despite its routine and frequent application, cryopreservation of human sperm is far from the desired efficacy, as freezing and thawing impair motility, viability, acrosomal unity, and DNA integrity.
Objectives: In this study, the authors aimed to investigate whether adding antioxidants, coenzyme Q10, and curcumin into the freezing medium provide better efficacy in the cryopreservation of human sperm.
Methods: The semen samples from 40 healthy men aged 18-45 were collected in sterile containers by masturbation. Samples within normal reference values for sperm concentration (≥15 million/mL) and motility (progressive motile ≥ 32% and total motility ≥ 40%) were included in the study. Semen samples were equally divided into five groups and evaluated; i) pre-freezing sperm suspension, ii) frozen-thawed control (Ctrl) without any supplementation in freezing medium, iii) frozen-thawed with curcumin supplementation of 0.25 mM (Cur), iv) frozen-thawed coenzyme Q10 supplementation of 25 µM (CoQ10) and v) frozen-thawed curcumin (0.25 mM) plus coenzyme Q10 (25 µM) supplementation (CurCoQ10) into the freezing medium. Liquid nitrogen vapour freezing and rapid thawing were performed in each group (ii-v). Sperm motility, viability, acrosome integrity, and DNA fragmentation rates were compared and ultrastructural evaluations by transmission electron microscopy were undertaken between the groups. Additionally, the total antioxidant capacity/total oxidant capacity values were measured.
Results: According to CASA results, progressive motility was significantly higher in the CoQ10 group (9.4 ± 7.6) when compared with the Ctrl (7.1 ± 6.3), Cur (6.4 ± 4.8) and CurCoQ10 (8.1 ± 7.7) groups (p < 0.05). Flow cytometry results showed no difference in the viability and acrosome integrity values after thawing, but DNA fragmentation was significantly increased in the curcumin-added groups (p < 0.05). Acrosomal changes and sub-acrosomal defects were seen in all groups after thawing at the ultrastructural level. Mitochondrial membrane structure was preserved in CoQ10 and CurCoQ10 groups.
Conclusions: Our results suggested that sperm ultrastructural morphology and motility were better preserved in the CoQ10 group during cryopreservation. In curcumin groups, DNA fragmentation and head defects were increased.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology|
|Early online date||2 Jun 2023|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2023|
- Sperm freezing
- Coenzyme Q10
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology
- Reproductive Medicine