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Volume 22, Issue 6 (November 2020) 22, 578–582; 10.4103/aja.aja_2_20

Relationship of sperm plasma membrane and acrosomal integrities with sperm morphometry in Bos taurus

Inmaculada Palacín1, Pilar Santolaria1, Carlos Alquezar-Baeta2, Carles Soler3, Miguel A Silvestre3, Jesús Yániz1

1 BIOFITER Research Group, Environmental Sciences Institute (IUCA), Department of Animal Production and Food Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Huesca 22071, Spain
2 Department of Computer Science, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza 50018, Spain
3 Department of Cellular Biology, Functional Biology and Physical Anthropology, University of Valencia, Burjassot 46100, Spain

Correspondence: Dr. J Yániz (jyaniz@unizar.es)

Date of Submission 25-Jun-2019 Date of Acceptance 03-Dec-2019 Date of Web Publication 21-Apr-2020


To date, sperm morphometric studies have assessed whole sperm populations without considering sperm function. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of sperm membrane and acrosomal integrity with sperm morphometry in liquid semen samples collected from bulls. To this end, sperm morphometry was performed on cryopreserved semen samples from 16 bulls by a combination of fluorescent dyes, including Hoechst 33343, carboxyfluorescein diacetate, and propidium iodide. This allowed discrimination of different subpopulations on the basis of sperm membrane and acrosomal integrity and analysis of the morphometrics of the sperm head, nucleus, and acrosome using a specific plug-in module created on ImageJ. Acrosomal integrity was related to sperm morphometry as the heads of spermatozoa with a damaged acrosome were significantly smaller than those with a normal acrosome (P < 0.001). In the case of spermatozoa with an intact acrosome, those with a damaged plasma membrane had a larger sperm head and acrosome than spermatozoa with an intact plasma membrane (P < 0.001). No significant differences in the sperm head size were observed between sperm subpopulations without an acrosome or in the nuclear sperm morphometry of the different subpopulations. There was a positive correlation between the sperm motility values of the samples and the morphometric parameters for intact spermatozoa. These correlations were particularly strong for the morphometric parameters of the sperm acrosome. We conclude that there are clear differences in the sperm morphometry depending on the status of the sperm membrane and acrosome and this should be considered when performing this kind of analysis.

Keywords: Bos taurus; fluorescence microscopy;image analysis; sperm morphometry; sperm quality

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