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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Differences in boar sperm head shape and dimensions recorded by computer-assisted sperm morphometry are not related to chromatin integrity

Saravia F, Nunez-Martinez I, Moran JM, Soler C, Muriel A, Rodriguez-Martinez H, Pena FJ


Although sperm head shape and relative dimensions are considered reliable indicators of sperm quality, their quantification is most often operator-driven, e.g., subjective. Artificial insemination semen doses from 35 mature stud boars of known fertility and belonging to three breeds and two hybrid breeds (Duroc, Large White, Landrace, respectively, Yorker and Risco) were used in this study. Sperm samples were extended to 100 x 10(6) Cells per mL and 10 mu L of the sperm suspension used to made smears which, stained, were examined using phase contrast microscopy interfaced with an automated sperm morphology analyzer (ASMA, 2 ISAS (R)). Each sperm head was measured for four primary parameters [area (A) mu m(2), perimeter (P) mu m, length (L) mu m, width (M mu m], and four derived parameters of head shape [(L/W, (4 pi A/P-2), ((L - W/(L + M), (pi LW/4A)]. Definition of head size was statistically performed. The threshold for each class was established on the basis of the area values, considering the 25th percentile as small and the 75th percentile as large spermatozoa. In a second step, sperm head shape was determined as normal, elliptic, abnormal (rugose) contour, long or irregular and percentiles set as above to define spermatozoa with normal values for each shape parameter. Significant differences were found among breeds in the size of morphologically normal spermatozoa, which were significantly larger and more elliptic (P < 0.001) in the Duroc breed. Sperm chromatin integrity was studied using the SCSA-assay, with significant differences observed in the degree of fragmentation intensity (DFI) although this value was consistently low in all animals studied. The hereby-validated ASMA was able to determine significant differences in sperm shape and dimensions among breeds, which were not accompanied by deviations in chromatin structure neither within nor between fertile AI-boars. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved

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2007, Volume: 68, number: 2, pages: 196-203

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    Veterinary Science
    Animal and Dairy Science

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