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Int J Androl. 1983 Oct;6(5):433-45.

The use of Percoll gradients for the preparation of subpopulations of human spermatozoa.


Centrifugation of human spermatozoa on BWW- or HEPES-Krebs-Ringer-buffered media containing Percoll as a method to prepare pure gamete populations or subpopulations has been studied in detail. Application of this technique (Gorus & Pipeleers 1981) allowed us to obtain uncontaminated, motile spermatozoa and, after a subsequent Percoll gradient step, resulted in the enrichment of motile cells able to readily penetrate in vitro into AB-serum filled capillaries. The gradient sedimentation patterns of 25 different sperm samples with normal seminal parameters were found to be strongly influenced by the characteristics of the sample itself and also by the buffer used for filtration. However, the present study also revealed that ultrastructural changes and the release of intraspermatozoal enzymes were induced by the procedure. It is concluded that, although of interest clinically, the Percoll filtration technique in its present form is probably of limited value for cell biological and/or ultrastructural studies.

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