Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology


J. O. Carvalho A , R. Sartori C , G. M. Machado A , G. B. Mourão C and M. A. N. Dode A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology, Brasília, DF, Brazil;

B University of Brasília, Brasília, Df, Brazil;

C University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, Brazil

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 22(1) 339-339
Published: 8 December 2009


Several studies using sex-sorted sperm by flow cytometry have shown that its fertility is reduced. Therefore, this study evaluated structural and functional characteristics of sperm sexed by flow cytometry. In addition, in vitro embryo production (IVP) and development was assessed when frozen-thawed unsorted and sex-sorted sperm from 4 Nellore bulls. Each ejaculate was separated into three fractions: non-sexed (NS), sexed for X-sperm (SX), and sexed for Y-sperm (SY). After thawing, each sample was analyzed for sperm motility by computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA, Berkeley, CA), sperm head agglutination, sperm morphology, membrane integrity by propidium iodide (PI) and 6-carboxy-fluorescein diacetate (CFDA) staining, acrosome integrity by peanut agglutinin (PNA), capacitation by chlortetracycline (CTC), and chromatin integrity by acridine orange staining. Then, the samples were placed in 45 : 90% (NS90) or 45 : 60% (NS60, SX, and SY) Percoll™ gradients. After Percoll™ centrifugation, sperm pellets were analyzed or used for IVP. All analyses were replicated independently three times. For IVP, 2,271 in vitro matured oocytes were used. To assess fertilization rate, presumptive zygotes were fixed and stained with lacmoid at 18 h post-insemination (hpi). Cleavage was evaluated at Day 2 (48 hpi) and blastocyst development at Days 6, 7, 8, and 9 of culture. Data were analyzed using generalized linear models. No differences (P > 0.05) were observed between SX and SY groups for e sperm variables evaluated either before or after Percoll™. However, non-sexed sperm had higher sperm motility, greater percentage of sperm with intact membranes, and greater percentage of live sperm with intact acrosomes than sexed sperm (P < 0.05). An effect of Percoll™ was observed in the non-sexed samples, with those submitted to 45 : 90% gradient having higher motility, greater percentage of cells with intact membrane, and lower recovery rate than those submitted to a 45 : 60% gradient. No differences among groups were observed for fertilization rate, being 74.0 ± 5.7, 63.2 ± 5.1, 67.2 ± 5.7, and 55.4 ± 5.9% for NS90, NS60, SX, and SY, respectively. Group NS90 showed a greater cleavage rate than did the SY group, while groups NS60 and SX had similar rates to the others. Blastocyst development rates on Day 6 to Day 9 were greater for group NS90. For example, on Day 8 the blastocyst rate was 34.9 ± 3.6, 22.2 ± 3.2, 18.1 ± 3.3, and 14.8 ± 2.9% forNS90, NS60, SX, and SY groups, respectively. All groups showed similar embryonic developmental stages on Day 6 to Day 9. Although sex-sorting affected sperm characteristics, it did not cause a decrease with in vitro fertility. However, differences in blastocyst rates between groups NS60 and NS90 indicated that the sperm selection protocol affected embryo production.

Financial support: Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology.

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