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Theriogenology. 1994 Oct;42(5):815-29.

Effects of hypoosmotic incubation on acrosome and tail structure on canine spermatozoa.

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  • 1Unit of Reproduction, Department of Animal Pathology and Production, School of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.


Hypoosmotic tests are widely used as valuable tests for determining sperm quality in species as varied as the human and the porcine. However, there is little information about the use of these tests in canine spermatozoa. This work evaluates the response of canine spermatozoa in hypoosmotic media in order to introduce the use of the hypoosmotic tests in the canine standard semen analysis. In this way, the incubation of canine spermatozoa in hypoosmotic media containing citrate (ORT medium, osmotic pressure = 100 mOsm) or citrate plus fructose (HOS medium, osmotic pressure = 150 mOsm) resulted in the swelling of the sperm tail. These reactions were time-dependent, reaching maximum percentages after 45 to 60 min. Optimal percentage of tail swelling with minimal effect on the viability of spermatozoa was observed at 100 to 150 mOsm. Response on sperm viability, tail swelling and acrosome detachment to hypoosmotic tests of both undiluted fresh, and 24 h-stored samples were similar. The percentage of swollen tails after both tests showed a good correlation to viability and to gross and progressive motility but not to concentration. However, acrosome detachment after both hypoosmotic tests did not correlate to any of the studied parameters. Our results indicate that the swelling observed after hypoosmotic shock could be used as a useful test in improving the standard semen analysis in the dog.

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