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Morphological changes in boar spermatozoa at different regions of the epididymis



Morphological changes in boar spermatozoa at different regions of the epididymis



Japanese Journal of Animal Reproduction 26(1): 50-56



To obtain information on the morphological changes occurring in sperm at various regions along the epididymis, 41 boars of the Landrace breed were used to examine sperm morphology from 4 regions of the epididymis. Samples were collected post mortem from the proximal and distal parts of the caput and cauda epididymides, respectively. There was a highly significant decrease in the incidence of abnormal sperm heads (pear-shaped, narrow at the base and narrow) during the passage from the proximal to the distal region of caput epididymidis. The decrease in the incidence of abnormal heads may be due to selective resorption or dissolution of sperm in the epithelium of the caput epididymidis. Migration of a cytoplasmic droplet from the proximal to the distal position of the middle-piece increased progressively during the passage of sperm through the epididymis, and the largest migration took place from the proximal to distal region of caput epididymidis. While the incidence of bent tail sperm increased during the passage along the epididymis, it reached a maximum in the proximal region of cauda epididymidis. The ability of selective sperm resorption in epididymal epithelium of caput is apparently very active, and it contributes to an improving semen picture after ejaculation. Studies on morphological characteristics of ejaculated sperm would be important for function evaluation at different regions of epididymis.

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