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Theriogenology. 2006 Nov;66(8):1921-30. Epub 2006 Jun 21.

Assessment of chromatin status (SCSA) in epididymal and ejaculated sperm in Iberian red deer, ram and domestic dog.

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Animal Reproduction and Obstetrics, University of León, 24071 León, Spain.


Abnormal chromatin condensation is not detected using classical techniques for sperm analysis. SCSA has demonstrated its usefulness in sperm chromatin analysis in several species (human, bull, stallion and boar). In this work, we studied sperm samples from red deer, ram and dog to analyze the differentiation of chromatin structure applying SCSA in epididymal and ejaculated spermatozoa. Epididymal samples were obtained from the caput, corpus and cauda by means of cuts, and ejaculated ones were obtained by electroejaculation (deer), artificial vagina (ram) and digital manipulation (dog). SCSA results suggested different critical points in sperm maturation (spermatozoa with loose chromatin to more condensed chromatin) among species: from corpus to cauda in ram and from caput to corpus in deer and dog. Moreover, we also detected differences in ruminants and dog, reflected in the appearance of SCSA plots. Indeed, ram and deer samples rendered two peaks within the sperm main population (sperm with condensed chromatin), whereas only one was detected in dog. Although some differences were observed between cauda and ejaculated samples, SCSA parameters indicated good chromatin condensation, making these samples suitable for germplasm banking. Some species-dependent modifications in the analysis of the results may be necessary to take full advantage of its analytical power.

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