Effects of caffeine on sperm characteristics after thawing and inflammatory response in the uterus after artificial insemination with frozen-thawed boar semen

S. Yamaguchi, C. Suzuki, M. Noguchi, S. Kasa, M. Mori, Y. Isozaki, S. Ueda, H. Funahashi, K. Kikuchi, T. Nagai, K. Yoshioka

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11 Citations (Scopus)


We previously reported that AI with frozen-thawed boar semen supplemented with caffeine increased the number of uterine sperm by inhibiting migration of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) into the uterine lumen, and also improved fertility of gilts and sows. The objective of the present study was to determine the effects of the addition of caffeine to a thawing solution on postthaw sperm quality and uterine inflammatory response after AI with frozen-thawed boar semen. Incubation of frozen-thawed sperm in Modena solution supplemented with 10 mM caffeine for 90 minutes improved (P < 0.05) percentages of progressive motility, straightness, and linearity of sperm movement compared with no caffeine, without causing damage to plasma or acrosomal membranes. Gilts inseminated once with 2 × 109 frozen-thawed sperm suspended in Modena solution with or without caffeine, and gilts that did not receive AI, were slaughtered 4 hours later. Uteri were recovered for analysis of number of uterine PMNs and mRNA expression (quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, and cyclooxygenase 2 in the endometrium. Caffeine decreased (P < 0.05) both the number of total uterine PMNs and expression of IL-8 mRNA in the endometrium after AI. The amount of IL-8 and cyclooxygenase 2 mRNA after AI in the absence of caffeine were higher than samples from gilts that did not receive AI (P < 0.05), whereas there were no significant differences between treatments in expression levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β, IL-6, or monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 mRNA. Pregnancy rate in sows inseminated with sperm supplemented with caffeine (16 of 23; 70%) tended (P < 0.1) to exceed that without caffeine (12 of 26; 46%), but litter size was not affected. In conclusion, the addition of caffeine to the thawing solution inhibited migration of uterine PMNs, probably by downregulating IL-8 mRNA expression in the endometrium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2013



  • Artificial insemination
  • Caffeine
  • Frozen-thawed boar semen
  • Interleukin-8
  • Polymorphonuclear leukocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine

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