Novel technical strategies to optimize cryopreservation of goat semen using cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrin

Cryobiology. 2017 Feb;74:19-24. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2016.12.010. Epub 2016 Dec 29.


Artificial insemination is well-established in dairy cattle, with sires housed in commercial studs for processing. In some species, however, sires located on-farm are used for artificial insemination by shipping their semen to an off-site laboratory for processing within 24 h of collection. To expedite semen transport from the farm to laboratory, protocols must be uncomplicated. For goat semen, an obstacle is the seminal plasma, which must be removed because it contains proteins that impede sperm quality. Our objective is to develop a simple strategy to transiently store goat semen for 24 h prior to freezing. Cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrin (CLC) has been demonstrated to improve sperm tolerance to cryopreservation. Therefore, we hypothesized that CLC improves goat sperm resistance to seminal plasma damage, over 24 h prior to cryopreservation. We first evaluated the ability of CLC to protect goat sperm against seminal plasma damage by treating fresh semen with or without seminal plasma prior to cryopreservation. Second, fresh goat semen with seminal plasma was extended in skim milk-based extender ± CLC and held for 24 h at 5 °C prior to freezing. Our results indicate that CLC treatment improves goat sperm resistance to seminal plasma-mediated injury and protects sperm quality over 24 h prior to freezing (P < 0.05). Although the in vivo fertility of semen must first be assessed, it is possible that protocols for goat semen cryopreservation can be simplified by including CLC and eliminating seminal plasma removal. Processing and distribution of goat semen for AI would thereby be facilitated.

Keywords: Cholesterol; Cyclodextrin; Seminal plasma; Sperm conservation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholesterol / pharmacology*
  • Cryopreservation / methods*
  • Cryoprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cyclodextrins / pharmacology*
  • Fertility
  • Freezing
  • Goats / physiology*
  • Insemination, Artificial
  • Male
  • Milk / metabolism
  • Semen / metabolism
  • Semen Preservation / methods*
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism


  • Cryoprotective Agents
  • Cyclodextrins
  • Cholesterol