Contents: Semen preparation and cryopreservation require finely adjusted procedures. Gametes are sensitive to environmental stresses, so in vitro procedures aim to minimize the inevitable harmful conditions. Applying stress to precondition cells has only been investigated recently. Studies demonstrated that by utilizing a well defined and properly applied hydrostatic pressure (HP) stress treatment to spermatozoa before in vitro storage, cryopreservation or insemination, cell survival and fertility improved compared with untreated controls. The birth of healthy piglets from treated fresh or frozen-thawed semen demonstrates the in vivo safety of the procedure. Although the biological mechanism is still unclear, several processes incorporating cellular stress response might explain the observations. This paper summarizes results, background, aspects and considerations of HP treatment for porcine semen. The new principle, i.e. to improve the stress tolerance by a defined sublethal stress may outline a new strategy in assisted reproductive technologies with unique theoretical and practical consequences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology