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Anim Reprod Sci. 2011 Jan;123(1-2):54-9. doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2010.10.012. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

Effect of transportation temperature on the quality of cauda epididymal spermatozoa of ram.

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Division of Animal Reproduction, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, S. K. University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (K), Shuhama, Srinagar, Kashmir, India.


The objective of this study was to develop a protocol for ram epididymal sperm preservation that could be applied to wild ruminants for collection and preservation of spermatozoa from dead or hunted animals. Ram testicles collected from abattoirs were used to study the effect of two transportation temperatures viz. ambient temperature (AT) and refrigeration temperature (RT) on the cauda epididymal sperm quality at recovery and during preservation up to 72h at 4°C. For AT the testicles were transported in normal saline in a container (17.9-21.5°C) where as for RT the testicles were transported in an ice-chest (4.9-6°C). The results of the current study revealed that intact acrosome was significantly higher (P<0.01) and other quality parameters like sperm motility, live sperm count, sperm concentration and major sperm abnormalities were also higher (P>0.05) for RT than AT. The mean percent sperm motility for RT and AT was 81.67% and 78.33%, respectively. The corresponding figures were 92.08% and 90.46% for mean live sperm, 98.33% and 90.50% for intact acrosome, 0.50% and 0.33% for major sperm defects. The percent minor abnormality was 79.50% for RT and 77.67% for AT. The most prevalent minor defect was distal cytoplasmic droplet (70-80%). The mean sperm motility for RT and AT at 0h was 82.50% and 75.00%, respectively and the corresponding values at 72h of preservation were 60.00% and 45.83%. The mean live sperm at 0h for RT and AT were 92.92% and 88.92%, respectively and the corresponding figures at 72h were 81.50% and 73.17%. The mean intact acrosome at 0h for RT and AT was 98.58% and 90.58%, respectively and at 72h the corresponding values were 91.66% and 82.25%. The sperm motility, live sperm count and intact acrosome decreased significantly (P<0.05) from 0h to 72h of preservation for both transportation temperatures. The sperm motility, live sperm count and intact acrosome also varied significantly between the transportation temperatures. The major sperm abnormality for both RT and AT at each hour of preservation up to 72h was less than 0.5%. The study concluded that epididymides or testicles should be transported to the laboratory at RT (4.9-6°C) either in an ice-chest or portable refrigerator for their processing, evaluation and storage.

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