In cryopreserved semen, the freezing/thawing process following of manipulation, damage the sperm cell, decreasing the fertilizing capacity of the thawed sperm; being one of the main factors of this damage the oxidative stress. The sperm once thawed can be protected from this damage, with the addition of antioxidants to the incubation medium. The Calafate fruit (Berberis microphylla G. Forst.) has a high antioxidant capacity, making it an interesting resource for investigating the effect of its antioxidant components on biotechnological processes. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of supplementation of Calafate fruit lyophilized extract (ELC) on sperm quality. The lyophilized extract of the Calafate fruit was characterized, determining the antioxidant activity and metabolites such as phenols and anthocyanins; subsequently, thawed bovine sperm were incubated in a medium supplemented with different concentrations of ELC. Post-incubation, progressive motility was evaluated. By flow cytometry, the viability and integrity of the plasma (SYBR14-PI), and acrosomal (FITC-PNA / PI), as well as lipid peroxidation (BODIPY), was determined. The characterization of Calafate fruits lyophilized extract indicated that antioxidant activity, phenols and anthocyanins increased concomitantly with the increase of dose extract used. The addition of ELC to the incubation medium, depending on the concentration and incubation time, would be effective to protect motility, viability and integrity of the plasma membrane and decreased lipid peroxidation in thawed bovine sperm.
KEY WORDS: Calafate; Bovine sperm; Antioxidant.