Summary. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) significantly reduced the degree of acrosome damage which occurred to ram spermatozoa during cold shock. A higher percentage of spermatozoa were motile after cold shock in the presence of BHT than in its absence, but it had little effect on the quality of motility or the percentage of cells which stained with eosin. A concentration of 2–4 mm-BHT provided the maximum response. No advantage was gained by using the solvent, dimethyl sulphoxide, as a vehicle to introduce BHT to the cells. An osmotic stress test after cold shock also failed to demonstrate any advantage of BHT. It is concluded that BHT provides little protection to the functional capacity of ram spermatozoa undergoing cold stress and is unlikely to be of benefit for the preservation of ram semen.
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