Evaluation of sperm subpopulation structure in relation to in vitro sperm-oocyte interaction of frozen-thawed semen from Holstein bulls.
Ferraz MA., Morató R., Yeste M., Arcarons N., Pena AI., Tamargo C., Hidalgo CO., Muiño R., Mogas T.
The present study examined the relationship between the relative amount of high motile sperm and sperm-oocyte interactions obtained from Holstein bull ejaculates. Post-thaw sperm motility was analyzed using a computer-assisted sperm analyzer system and evaluated to determine the sperm motility subpopulations. Adhesion and penetration of zona pellucida (ZP) and pronucleus formation using post-thawed samples (15 ejaculates form 5 different bulls) with different percentages of sperm in the subpopulation with the fastest and most progressive subpopulation (subpopulation 4 [SP4]) were analyzed. The correlation between the proportion of sperm in SP4 and the number of spermatozoa bound to the zona pellucida (ZBA), the penetration rate, and the rate of pronucleus formation were calculated. A significant (P < 0.05) and positive correlation was found between the number of spermatozoa bound to the zona pellucida, the penetration rate, and the rate of pronucleus formation with the proportion of sperm in SP4 (r = 0.79, r = 0.66, and r = 0.63, respectively). Our results suggest that this specific high motile and progressive subpopulation is positively and significantly correlated with the ability of a thawed bull semen sample to interact properly with the oocyte and its extracellular vestments. These findings emphasize the relevance of analyzing semen subpopulation composition to predict bull sperm fertilizing ability and to select Holstein bulls for breeding purposes.