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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2006

A short sperm-oocyte incubation time ZBA in the dog

Hermansson U, Ponglowhapan S, Forsberg CL, Holst BS


The fertilising capacity of a semen sample can be predicted by evaluation of spermatozoa with in vitro tests. The zona pellucida binding assay (ZBA) accounts for several parameters and interprets the interaction between the spermatozoa and the oocyte. The present study was made in two parts. The aim of the first experiment was to evaluate whether the sperm binding capacity of oocytes varies between different oocyte pools. Each zona binding was made with oocytes from different bitches, using pooled frozen-thawed semen from the same two dogs. The sperm-oocyte complexes were incubated for 1 h. There was a significant difference between the six replicates in the number of sperm bound to the zona pellucida (ZP), which indicates that the sperm binding capacity of the ZP differs between oocyte pools. The aims of the second experiment were to evaluate the effects of five different treatments of the spermatozoa on the ZBA, and to evaluate two different incubation times of the sperm-oocyte complexes. ZBAs were made with: fresh semen; semen kept chilled for 1 or 2 days prior to the ZBA; and with semen that had been frozen with or without Equex. The oocytes and spermatozoa were incubated for 1 or 4 h. For fresh semen and for semen frozen without Equex, incubation for 1 h resulted in a higher number of bound spermatozoa per oocyte than incubation for 4 h (P < 0.0001). When the effect of the different sperm treatments on the number of spermatozoa bound to the ZP was evaluated, it was found that this number was higher for fresh spermatozoa than for chilled or frozen-thawed spermatozoa both after 1 and 4 h of co-incubation (P < 0.0001). After 1-h incubation of the sperm-oocyte complexes, spermatozoa chilled for I day showed better zona binding capacity than spermatozoa chilled for 2 days, and spermatozoa frozen without Equex had a better zona binding capacity than spermatozoa frozen with Equex. Sperm motility and sperm plasma membrane integrity were higher in fresh than in chilled and frozen-thawed semen. The acrosome integrity was high in all groups of treated semen. In conclusion, 1-h incubation of the sperm-oocyte complexes seems to be sufficient for fresh and chilled semen. Further studies are required to establish the optimal incubation time for sperm-oocyte complexes when frozen-thawed semen is evaluated, as a comparison between semen frozen with Equex and semen frozen without Equex gave different results depending on whether the incubation time was 1 or 4 h (in the present study), or 6 h [Strom Holst B, Larsson B, Linde-Forsberg C, Rodriguez-Martinez H. Evaluating chilled and frozen-thawed dog spermatozoa using a zona pellucida binding assay. J Reprod Fertil 2000; 119:201-6]. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

Published in

2006, Volume: 66, number: 4, pages: 717-725

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    UKÄ Subject classification

    Veterinary Science
    Animal and Dairy Science

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