Diagnostic tests that probe sperm function are needed to determine the potential etiologies of subfertility and to explore treatments of subfertility in stallions. Using epifluorescence and phase contrast microscopy, a comparison was made between ejaculates from 3 fertile and 3 subfertile stallions in which sperm-zona pellucida binding and acrosomal status were measured. Motile spermatozoa were selected by Percoll gradient centrifugation and were capacitated in vitro using TEST:TALP capacitation medium at 39°C under humidified air containing 5% CO2. Concentration of motile spermatozoa was held constant during coincubation with oocytes for fertile and subfertile ejaculates. The total number of zona pellucida-bound spermatozoa was higher for fertile stallions than for subfertile stallions (P < 0.05). Similarly, the percentage of acrosome reactions in zona pellucida- bound spermatozoa was higher for the 3 fertile stallions than for the 3 subfertile stallions (P < 0.05). These results indicate that spermatozoa from fertile stallions may interact with female gametes differently from that of subfertile stallions and suggest that sperm functions are measurable and may vary with fertility.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology