Pretreatment of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) spermatozoa with cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins and glycerol addition at 4°C improves cryosurvival


Asian elephant spermatozoa are sensitive to chilling and do not respond well to cryopreservation. The objectives of the present study were to: (1) determine whether cholesterol content can be modified by preincubation of Asian elephant spermatozoa with cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrin (CLC); and (2) assess the effects of CLC concentration(s), temperature at time of glycerol addition (22°C vs 4°C) and dilution medium on post-thaw sperm survival. Spermatozoa incubated with ≥1.5 mg CLC exhibited increased (P < 0.05) cholesterol concentrations. Pretreatment of spermatozoa with 1.5mg CLC resulted inimprovements (P < 0.05) in all post-thaw parameters. Glycerol addition at 4°C also improved all post-thaw parameters compared with 22°C. Dilution of thawed spermatozoa in an egg yolk-based medium improved (P < 0.05) motility compared with Ham's F-10 culture medium. In summary, our findings indicate that modifying cholesterol content within the plasma membrane improves the cryosurvival of Asian elephant spermatozoa. The development of an improved cryopreservation method that includes modification of membrane cholesterol and the addition of glycerol at 4°C, as reported in the present study, is an important step towards utilisation of cryopreserved spermatozoa in captive management of this species.


Animal Science

Document Type





Gamete, Genome resource bank, Storage

Publication Date


Journal Title

Reproduction, Fertility and Development