The aim of this study was to compare the effect of two permeant-cryoprotectants, dimethylacetamide (DMA) and N-methylacetamide (NMA) used at different concentrations (0%, 2%, 4%, 6%) on the quality and fertility of post-thaw rooster semen. Ejaculates were processed in 7 treatments: Lake pre-freezing+0.1 M trehalose (LPF-T) (control treatment), LPF-T+2% DMA, LPF-T+4% DMA, LPF-T+6% DMA, LPF-T+2% NMA, LPF-T+4% NMA, LPF-T+6% NMA. Sperm quality [sperm membrane integrity (SMI), motility and kinetic parameters] was assessed before and after cryopreservation. Fertility and embryo viability were recorded. Increasing both DMA and NMA concentration from 2 to 6% improved SMI, total motile sperm, progressive motile sperm (PMS), VCL, VSL and VAP values. PMS recovery rates were significantly the highest in 6% DMA, 4% NMA and 6% NMA treatments. Semen cryopreserved with DMA produced the best fertility and embryo viability at 6%; progressive lower values were recorded at lower concentrations, with no viable embryos at 2%. Semen cryopreserved with NMA showed the best fertility values at 2% and lower values were recorded at higher concentrations; live embryos were found in all NMA treatments. Finally, NMA and DMA showed a similar positive concentration dependent effect of the quality of cryopreserved semen. NMA, not DMA, provided the highest fertility and embryo viability values at the lowest 2%. Therefore, the use of NMA is recommended in order to reduce the cryoprotectant concentration, with a concomitant reduction in the risk of toxicity, providing at the same time the adequate cryoprotective action to obtain viable embryos after artificial insemination of cryopreserved chicken semen.
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