Sodium bicarbonate and HEPES as buffer components for cooling the semen of pony stallions

Janislene Mach Trentin, Luiz Augusto Machado Centeno, Taison de Souza Balestrin, Thainá Minela, Guilherme Machado Zanatta, Gilson Antonio Pessoa, Mara Iolanda Batistella Rubin


The composition of semen diluents can modify its viability during cooling. The buffering effects of HEPES and sodium bicarbonate were evaluated considering the pH and sperm viability. The semen of seven adult Brazilian ponies was evaluated before and after cooling at 5oC for 24 h and 48 h. A non-buffered skim milk powder extender (C) and the same extender buffered with sodium bicarbonate (SB) and HEPES (H) were used. After dilution, semen (three ejaculates/pony) was centrifuged and the seminal plasma discarded. Sperm was then diluted with SB, H or C and its concentration adjusted to 50 x 106 sptz/mL. Progressive motility evaluated after dilution showed similar results with all extenders (71.42% (SB), 74.28% (H), and 74.52% (C)). Sperm motility was evaluated 24 h and 48 h after cooling for SB (44.76% and 25.23%), H (51.42% and 38.09%) and C (54.05% and 41.66%, respectively). Plasma membrane integrity was similar after exposure to the three extenders (62.71% (SB), 68.76% (H), and 69.23% (C)). Mitochondrial activity was higher in SB immediately after dilution (SB= 1.05nm, H= 0.81nm, C= 0.79nm), and after 24 h (0.83nm (SB), 0.73nm (H) and 0.64nm (C)). After 48 h, the mitochondrial activity decreased to 0.72nm (SB), 0.69nm (H), and 0.63nm (C) (P > 0.05). The pH, osmolarity and pH after 48 h of cooling of the diluted semen were higher in SB (8; 382; 7.9), intermediate in H (7.5; 362; 7.32) and lower in C (7.16; 350; 7.07). Lipid peroxidation and its induction were similar in all groups. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Duncan’s test was used to evaluate the significant differences (P < 0.05). Sodium bicarbonate reduced the progressive motility and increased the semen pH. The extender C was considered more appropriate for immediate use in artificial insemination. The non-buffered and HEPES-buffered extenders were considered appropriate for the cooling of equine semen for 48 h at 5°C.


Dilution; Equine; Extender; Motility; pH; Spermatozoa.

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Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433 / 1679-0359
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