Effects of cryopreservation on cAMP-dependent protein kinase and AMP-activated protein kinase in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) spermatozoa: Relation with post-thaw motility

Sperm motility in fish with external fertilization is critical for reproductive efficiency in aquaculture, especially in salmonids. Gamete preservation techniques, such as cryopreservation, however, reduce sperm motility and fertilizing capacity. Very few studies have addressed cryodamage from energetic and cell signalling approaches. In this study, cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) activities were quantified in fresh and cryopreserved spermatozoa of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar); and the relation with motility was analysed. Results indicate there was a decrease in membrane integrity and motility in post-thawed spermatozoa compared to fresh samples, however, there was about 30% of cells with intact plasma membrane but incapable of motility. The PKA and AMPK activities were less after cryopreservation, indicating that loss of motility may be related to alteration of these key enzymes. Furthermore, PKA and AMPK activities were positively correlated with each other and with motility; and inhibition decreased motility, indicating there is a functional relationship between PKA and AMPK. The PKA inhibition also decreased AMPK activity, but results from protein-protein docking analyses indicated AMPK activation directly by PKA is unlikely, thus an indirect mechanism may exist. There have been no previous reports of these kinase actions in fish spermatozoa, making these findings worthy of assessment when there are future studies being planned, and may serve as base knowledge for optimization of cryopreservation procedures and development of biotechnologies to improve reproduction efficiency in the aquaculture industry

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