Single-Layer Colloid Centrifugation as a Method to Process Urine-Contaminated Stallion Semen After Freezing-Thawing

Giorgia Podico, Robyn E. Ellerbrock, Bruna R. Curcio, Soon Hon Cheong, Fabio S. Lima, Igor F. Canisso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urospermia is a major ejaculatory dysfunction affecting stallions. It has been thought that urine-contaminated semen should not be cryopreserved; however, on select cases, urine contamination of semen cannot be avoided. A recent study suggested that urospermic semen can be cryopreserved after cushion centrifugation and extension. Thus, this study aimed to assess the use of single-layer colloid centrifugation (SLC) to process frozen-thawed urine-contaminated stallion semen. Raw ejaculates (n = 55) from eight stallions were split into three groups: no urine, low (20%), or high (50%) urine contamination. Semen was extended 1:1, cushion-centrifuged, and resuspended at 200 million sperm/mL in BotuCrio. Resuspended semen was loaded in 0.5 mL straws and cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. Samples were thawed (37°C for 30 seconds) and processed by SLC (400 g/30 minutes). Percentages of total motility (TM) and progressive motility (PM) were assessed with computer-assisted semen analyzer. Sperm viability (%VIAB) and yield were assessed with a NucleoCounter before and after gradient centrifugation. Data were analyzed with two-way ANOVA and Tukey's test. The motility parameters TM before SLC (control: 35 ± 2; low: 33 ± 0.7; high: 22 ± 1.8) after SLC (control: 51 ± 3.6; low: 42 ± 2.2; high: 25 ± 2.8) and PM before SLC (control: 24 ± 1.8; low: 21 ± 1.14; high: 12 ± 1.5) and after SLC (control: 40.3 ± 3.2; low: 31 ± 3.9; high: 14 ± 2) significantly decreased with increasing urine contamination. Urine contamination marginally reduced (P < .05) sperm viability after cryopreservation before SLC (control: 45 ± 0.7; low: 27 ± 0.2; high: 27 ± 0.3) and after SLC (control: 54 ± 0.5; low: 49 ± 0.7; high: 38 ± 0.6). Recovery rates of sperm after centrifugation were not significantly different between groups. In conclusion, urine contamination affects sperm motility parameters in a dose-dependent manner. Post-thaw SLC selected sperm with higher motility and viability in control and low groups but only selected sperm with higher viability in the high group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102910
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Centrifugation
  • Cryopreservation
  • Horse
  • Urospermia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


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