Seminal plasma proteins modify the distribution of sperm subpopulations in cryopreserved semen of rams with lesser fertility
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Animal Reproduction Science, 2017, vol. 184
Any physiological mechanism involved in sperm selection and semen improvement has effects on heterogeneous sperm populations. This is mainly due to the fact that sperm populations within a single ejaculate have considerable heterogeneity for many variables, such as motility which is meaningful in terms of understanding how some sperm cells possess fertility advantages as compared with other cells. In the present research, initially there was a multivariate and clustering analysis used to assess sperm motility data from cryopreserved ram semen to identify subpopulations and compare the distribution of these clusters between rams with lesser and greater fertility. There were four classifications made of sperm subpopulations (clusters): CL1 fast/linear/progressive sperm; CL2 fast/non-linear sperm; CL3 very fast/linear sperm with vigorous beating and CL4 slow/non-linear sperm. Rams with greater fertility had a lesser proportion of sperm considered as “hyperactivated” (CL2) and a greater proportion of slow and non-linear sperm (CL4) than sperm of rams with lesser fertility. In addition, the effects were assessed for the capacity of seminal plasma (SP) and interacting SP proteins (iSPP) that were present during different seasons of the year to improve the distribution of sperm within subpopulations of semen from rams with lesser fertility. The iSPP and SP were obtained by artificial vagina (AV) and electroejaculation (EE) during breeding and non-breeding seasons and added to thawed semen. All the aggregates had a significant effect on the distribution of sperm subpopulations and effects differed among seasons of the year and depending on collection method used. Even though, future studies are needed to assess the contribution of each subpopulation on ram sperm fertility, it is important that a multivariate analysis be used to evaluate the effect of a treatment on sperm quality variables.
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