Factors that affect sperm quality can include method of semen collection, conditions for capacitation and whether or not agglutination is present. Media and procedures for sperm washing can also impair or improve sperm function in assisted reproductive technologies. For example, the removal of seminal fluid through large volume washing is required to eliminate decapacitation activity of seminal plasma. The forces involved with centrifugation and the metabolic stress of tightly pelleting sperm during washing procedures can have deleterious results. In contrast to human sperm, sperm from the most commonly used species of nonhuman primates, rhesus and cynomolgus macaques, do not spontaneously capacitate in vitro; rather, chemical activation with dibutryl cyclic AMP and caffeine is required. Recognizing motility patterns of non-activated and activated sperm can be accomplished with simple observation. After activation, sperm agglutination sometimes occurs and can interfere with sperm binding to the zona pellucida. Because nonhuman primate oocytes require a large investment to produce and currently, each animal can be hormonally stimulated a limited number of times, it is important to have means to evaluate quality prior to using sperm from a new male for in vitro fertilization. Methods for producing live, acrosome reacted sperm may also have application for ICSI. Because many genetically valuable males are now being identified, it may be necessary to individualize sperm preparation to accommodate male-to-male variation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology