Pentoxifylline treatment of frozen pig sperm affects sperm motility and fetal numbers

  • Baek, Sun Young (National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Chung, Hak Jae (National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Hong, Joon Ki (National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Cho, Eun Seok (National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration) ;
  • Choi, Inchul (Division of Animal and Dairy Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chungnam National University)
  • Received : 2020.05.12
  • Accepted : 2020.08.20
  • Published : 2020.09.01


The objective of this study was to investigate whether supplementation of pentoxifylline (PTX; phosphodiesterase inhibitor) to thawed boar semen improves the post-thaw motility of sperm and affects the efficiency of artificial insemination (AI) and further development. To determine the concentration of PTX for AI, frozen-thawed semen was incubated with 0, 5, 10, and 20 mM PTX in an extender freezing medium, respectively, after thawing. Kinematic properties of sperm were examined with a computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) system. In addition, viability and mitochondrial activity were also tested by LIVE/DEAD and a MitoTracker kit. There were no significant differences in the kinetic parameters of thawed sperm between control and treatment groups, but overall assessment parameters such as motility and rapid progressive were higher in the 10 mM PTX group. In the viability and mitochondrial assay, there were no significant differences observed in the PTX treatment, compared to the control. For further analysis, artificial inseminations were performed using frozen semen and 10 mM PTX treated cryopreserved semen, respectively. There were no differences in pregnancy rates and fetus weights among the groups until 30 and 40 days, but litter size was reduced and relatively low-birth weight was observed in the PTX group. In summary, our findings suggest that enhancement of in vitro sperm quality or non-toxicity supplemented by PTX may have detrimental effects on fetus development.


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