Sperm-bound antisperm antibodies are associated with poor cryosurvival of stallion spermatozoa

M. S. Ferrer, I. F. Canisso, G. Podico, R. E. Ellerbrock, D. J. Hurley, R. Palomares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Different stallions exhibit a high level of variation in the ability of their sperm to survive cryopreservation. A large fraction of stallions show poor post-thaw sperm motility, and their semen is not suitable for commercial freezing. In this study, we hypothesized that the presence of sperm-bound antisperm antibodies (ASAs) was associated with poor cryosurvival of stallion sperm. Our objective was to assess the level of ASA binding to stallion sperm, and determine if it was associated with good or poor sperm cryosurvival. In Experiment 1, cooled shipped semen from 27 stallions was frozen using three commercial semen extenders. Sperm motility, membrane integrity, acrosome integrity and apoptosis were evaluated before and after freezing for each aliquot. In addition, the percentage of ASA-bound sperm was evaluated post-thaw. In Experiment 2, semen from 22 stallions was frozen immediately after collection a single formulation of semen extender. Sperm motility and ASA binding were evaluated post-thaw. The results of both experiments showed similar findings. The frequency of ASA-positive samples was higher among stallions with poor sperm cryosurvival (Exp. 1 and 2 = 6/11, 54.5%) than for good sperm cryosurvival (Exp. 1 = 0/16, 0%; Exp. 2 = 1/11, 9.1%). The percentage of IgG- and IgA-bound sperm was also higher in stallions with poor sperm cryosurvival in both experiments (P < 0.05). Post-thaw sperm motility, velocity and distance parameters were lower in ASA-positive than ASA-negative stallions (P < 0.005). No effect of the semen extender used was observed. In addition, stallions with ASAs had a higher percentage of apoptotic sperm than stallions without ASAs. The presence of sperm-bound ASAs was associated with poor cryosurvival for stallion spermatozoa. Thus, it may be beneficial to evaluate stallions for binding of ASAs prior to freezing to offer and indicator of the prognosis for cryosurvival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-267
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Sep 15 2021


  • Cryopreservation
  • Equine
  • Freezing
  • Horse
  • Semen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Small Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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