The scope of this study was investigation the affects of various antioxidants on 1% soybean lecithin-based semen extenders for ram semen cryopreservation. Ejaculates, collected via electrically stimulated ejaculation, that have a thick consistency, rapid wave motion (3-5 on a 0-5 scale) and >75% initial motility were pooled. The pooled samples were split into four equal aliquots as 5 mM Methionine, 5 mM Cysteamine, 1 mM Cysteine and a sample of antioxidant-free control group. Each sample group was diluted to a ratio of 1/5 (semen/extender, v/v) as final concentration and two step dilution method was used for cryopreservation. Extender groups were assessed for sperm motility, plasma membrane functional integrity using hypoosmotic swelling test (HOST), damaged acrosome using FITC-Pisum sativum agglutinin (PSA-FITC) and DNA integrity using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL). Semen samples also incubated for 6 h in humidified air with 5% CO2 at 39 degrees C to evaluate post-thaw incubation resilience of semen characteristics. The results showed that freezing and thawing procedures had negative effects on motility (P < 0.05), plasma membrane integrity (P < 0.05) and acrosomal integrity (P < 0.05). After 6 h of incubation time, the Cysteine supplemented extender group yielded significantly higher results than other extender groups in terms of spermatological parameters. Furthermore MDA levels in the antioxidant groups were lower than control group (P < 0.05). Nevertheless, there were no significant differences among antioxidant groups. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.