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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 27(5)

Variation of spermatogenic and Sertoli cell number detected by fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) in Iberian red deer during and out of the breeding season

Eliana Pintus A B E F, José Luis Ros-Santaella C D E and José Julián Garde C

A Department of Pathology and Veterinary Clinic, University of Sassari, Via Vienna 2, 07100 Sassari, Italy.
B Department of Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague 6, Suchdol, Czech Republic.
C Health and Biotechnology, National Wildlife Research Institute, Spanish National Research Council, University of Castilla – La Mancha, Council of Castilla – La Mancha (SaBio IREC (CSIC–UCLM–JCCM)), Campus Universitario s. n. 02071 Albacete, Spain.
D Department of Animal Science and Food Processing, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech University of Life Sciences, Kamýcká 129, 165 21 Prague 6, Suchdol, Czech Republic.
E These authors contributed equally to this work.
F Corresponding author. Email: eliana.pintus@virgilio.it

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 27(5) 812-822 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RD13419
Submitted: 29 August 2013  Accepted: 25 January 2014   Published: 4 March 2014


 
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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate spermatogenesis in Iberian red deer, a short-day seasonal breeder, using the fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) technique. Reports on spermatogenesis in deer are limited and here, for the first time, FNAC has been used to evaluate changes in such physiological process during and out of the breeding season. Testes were collected from 51 stags from November 2010 to February 2011. The Sertoli index and spermatic index were significantly higher during the breeding season than out of the breeding season (P = 0.0477 and P = 0.0125, respectively). A similar pattern was described by histological analysis, in which both Sertoli cell number per tubular cross-section and Johnsen score decreased significantly from the breeding season to the non-breeding season (P = 0.0131 and P = 0.0010, respectively). Data provided by FNAC were correlated with histology: the Sertoli index was positively correlated with Sertoli cell number per tubular cross-section (P = 0.0015), whereas the spermatic index was correlated with the Johnsen score (P = 0.0497). The results of the present study indicate that FNAC is a reliable technique to evaluate spermatogenesis in Iberian red deer and suggest that Sertoli cell number is not stable in these species, reaching highest values during the breeding season.

Additional keyword: seasonal breeder.


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