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Reprod Domest Anim. 2010 Apr;45(2):354-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2008.01252.x. Epub 2009 Jan 8.

Semen characteristics in a sub-fertile Arabian stallion with idiopathic teratospermia.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Studies New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


A 5-year-old Arabian stallion was managed for breeding with fresh/extended semen during a period of 8 months with a resulting per cycle pregnancy rate of 26.3%. The stallion was in good health and no abnormalities of the reproductive tract were observed. Evaluation of several ejaculates revealed that sperm production and semen quality were mostly unchanged during the period of evaluation, that sperm production was normal and that semen quality was extremely poor. The most prevalent sperm defects were abnormal heads and mid-pieces. Most abnormal heads were microcephalic and/or tapered and considerable variation in sperm head dimensions within and among ejaculates was observed. A unique defect characterized by swollen/roughened mid-piece caused by accumulation of cytoplasmic-like material and abnormal mitochondrial sheath was observed. Nuclear vacuoles, acrosome defects, and teratoids were also prevalent and most sperm presented multiple abnormalities. The absence of any clear cause or any signs of testicular degeneration, combined with normal sperm production, and constant abnormal sperm production suggest an inherent, congenital disturbance of spermatogenesis as the cause of teratospermia in this case.

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