Loss of heat shock protein 70 from apical region of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) sperm head after freezing and thawing.


PubMedID: 26607876

Varghese T, Divyashree BC, Roy SC, Roy KS. Loss of heat shock protein 70 from apical region of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) sperm head after freezing and thawing. Theriogenology. 2016;.
The post-thaw fertility of frozen-thawed mammalian spermatozoa is substantially low as compared with that of fresh sperm. Furthermore, the post-thaw fertility of the cryopreserved buffalo sperm has been reported to be poor as compared with that of cattle sperm. Recently, heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) has been found to play a critical role in mammalian fertilization and early embryonic development in boar and cattle. However, the presence of such fertility-related HSP70 in buffalo sperm and its status after cryopreservation has not been reported so far. Thus, a study was conducted to determine the effect of cryopreservation on the level and distribution pattern of HSP70 molecule in buffalo sperm after cryopreservation. Buffalo semen samples, after dilution in semen extender, were aliquoted in straws and divided into two groups. One group was not cryopreserved, and the other group was cryopreserved for 60 days. Sperm proteins were extracted from both non-cryopreserved (NC) and cryopreserved (C) sperm and subjected to Western blot analysis for detection of HSP70 using a monoclonal anti-HSP70 antibody. The distribution pattern of these proteins in buffalo sperm was also monitored before and after cryopreservation using indirect immunofluorescence technique. A prominent 70-kDa protein band of HSP70 protein was detected in protein extracts of both NC and C buffalo sperm. Densitometry analysis revealed that the intensity of 70-kDa HSP70 protein band of cryopreserved sperm decreased significantly (P < 0. 05) compared with that of NC sperm. However, the level of HSP70 in cryopreserved extended seminal plasma (ESP) did not change as compared with that of NC samples indicating a possible degradation of HSP70 in the spermatozoa itself rather than leakage of the protein into the ESP. Furthermore, Western blot also confirmed that several HSP70 immunoreactive protein bands detected in the ESP were contributed by the egg yolk that was added to the extender. Immunocytochemistry revealed that HSP70 proteins were distributed over the apical region of sperm head and/or acrosome, post-acrosomal, and middle piece regions of NC buffalo spermatozoa. However, the fluorescence signal of apical region of sperm head was lost significantly (P < 0. 05) after a cycle of freezing and thawing. Thus, the present study confirmed that there was loss of HSP70 from buffalo sperm head after freezing and thawing of buffalo spermatozoa, and this may be one of the causes of the reduced post-thaw fertility of sperm in this species.