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Theriogenology. 2004 Jan 15;61(2-3):365-72.

Separation of canine epididymal spermatozoa by Percoll gradient centrifugation.

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Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Tottori University, Tottori 680-8553, Japan.


The objective was to characterize the separation of canine epididymal spermatozoa on a Percoll gradient. Epididymal spermatozoa were overlaid on a 45 and 90% discontinuous Percoll gradient and centrifuged at 700 x g for 20 min. The Percoll column was separated into six fractions (top to bottom, A-F) after centrifugation. Fractions A-C contained few spermatozoa. Spermatozoa with bent or folded tails and a large amount of granular debris were observed in Fraction B. Fraction D contained many nonmotile spermatozoa, erythrocytes and round epithelial cells. Spermatozoa in Fraction E had significantly lower motility than those in the initial layer. Spermatozoa in Fraction F had motility similar to those before separation. Fraction F contained 40.6% of the motile spermatozoa layered and 67.5% of all motile spermatozoa recovered. There was no significant difference between Fraction F and the initial layer in sperm membrane integrity. In the sperm-oocyte penetration assay, spermatozoa from Fraction F had a significantly higher penetration rate into the immature homologous oocytes than those from Fraction E. Although the recovery rate of the motile spermatozoa was low, the canine epididymal spermatozoa with motility, membrane integrity and penetrating capability could be separated by two-layer discontinuous Percoll gradient centrifugation.

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