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Predicting the fertility outcome of ejaculates is very important in the field of porcine reproduction. The aims of this study were to determine the effects of different osmotic treatments on boar spermatozoa and to correlate them with fertility and prolificacy, assessed as non-return rates within 60 days (NRR(60d)) of the first inseminations, and litter size (LS), respectively. Sperm samples (n=100) from one hundred healthy Piétrain boars were used to assess 48 treatments combining different osmolalities (ranged between 100 and 4000 mOsm kg(-1)), different compounds used to prepare anisotonic solutions, and two different modalities: return and non-return to isotonic conditions. Sperm quality was evaluated before and after applying the treatments on the basis of analyses of sperm viability, motility, morphology and percentages of acrosome-intact spermatozoa. Statistical analyses were performed using a one-way ANOVA and post hoc Tukey's test, linear regression analyses (Pearson correlation and multiple regression) and Jackknife cross-validation. Although three conventional parameters: sperm viability, sperm morphology and the percentages of acrosome-intact spermatozoa were significantly correlated with NRR(60d) and with LS, their respective osmotic tolerance parameters (defined for each parameter and treatment regarding with negative control) presented a higher Pearson coefficient with both fertility and prolificacy in three treatments (150 mOsm kg(-1) with non-return to isotonic conditions, 200 mOsm kg(-1) with return and 500 mOsm kg(-1) using sodium citrate and non-return to isotonic conditions). We conclude that osmotic resistance in sperm viability, sperm morphology and acrosome-intactness in the treatments mentioned above could be assessed along with classical parameters to better predict the fertilising ability of a given ejaculate.

Original publication




Journal article


Anim Reprod Sci

Publication Date





265 - 274


Acrosome, Animals, Cell Survival, Fertility, Hypertonic Solutions, Hypotonic Solutions, Male, Osmolar Concentration, Osmotic Pressure, Sperm Motility, Spermatozoa, Swine