Distribution and retention of spermatozoa with acrosomal and nuclear abnormalities in the cow genital tract.

J. R. Mitchell, P. L. Senger, James Landis Rosenberger

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78 Scopus citations


Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the fate of sperm following uterine insemination. In Exp. I, five pairs of Holstein cows were inseminated with egg yolk-Tris extended semen (approximately 1.0 X 10(9) sperm; .5 ml) from five ejaculates from a single bull that had high levels (approximately 70%) of morphologically abnormal sperm. Cows were slaughtered 12 h after insemination. The genital tracts were removed and promptly clamped into defined regions. Sperm were recovered by flushing with 2.9% sodium citrate buffer. Proportions of abnormal sperm in the various regions were compared with those in the inseminate. Sperm numbers were also determined from each region. Regions of the tract varied in number of sperm (P less than .001), proportions of knobbed acrosomes (P less than .001), tapered heads (P less than .001), protoplasmic droplets (P less than .001), tail abnormalities (P less than .029) and total abnormalities (P less than .002). A total of 63.5 +/- 6.4 X 10(6) sperm was recovered. These sperm were distributed throughout the tract as follows: vagina, 91.8%; cervix, 5.4%; uterine horns, 2.7%, and uterotubal junctions-isthmi, .04%. No sperm were recovered from ampullae. Because retrograde movement of sperm from the uterus occurred in Exp. I, we conducted Exp. II to determine the extent of sperm loss from the genital tract following insemination. Three pairs of Holstein cows were inseminated with .42 X 10(9) sperm (.5 ml; egg yolk-Tris extender) from the same bull used in Exp. I (three ejaculates). All discharged mucus and urine was collected for 12 h after insemination for recovery of sperm. Aspirates (approximately 1 ml) of mucus from the vagina were evaluated during the 12-h post-insemination period for numbers of sperm and leucocytes. Sperm were also recovered from the tract following slaughter (approximately 12 h) to determine retention. Overall, 73 +/- 3.7% of inseminated sperm were recovered. Components were: inseminate lost from the genital tract in discharged mucus, 60 +/- 4.6%; lost in urine, .06 +/- .02%; aspirated from the vagina, 4.4 +/- 1%; adhered to equipment, 1.3 +/- .3%, and retained in the genital tract, 6.5 +/- 1.6%. Predicted numbers of sperm contained in discharged mucus 2 h post-insemination were greater (P less than .009) than at subsequent hours.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-967
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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