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Compensability of an enhanced incidence of spermatozoa with cytoplasmic droplets in boar semen for use in artificial insemination: a single cell approach

This single cell study aimed to clarify whether an elevated incidence of sperm with a retained cytoplasmic droplet (CD) can be compensated by a higher sperm number in boar semen doses to maintain fertility. Cluster analysis of motile spermatozoa (ten boars) revealed that spermatozoa with a CD are underrepresented in the fast, linearly moving sperm cohort compared to morphologically normal sperm. Nonetheless, the response to the motility stimulator procaine was barely affected in spermatozoa with distal CD (Cramer’s V = 0.14), but moderately affected in sperm with proximal CD (V = 0.28). Viability was lower in sperm with distal CD (p < 0.05) but not with proximal CD compared to normal sperm during 168 h storage of extended semen samples (n = 11) and subsequent thermic stress. Morphologically normal sperm from normospermic samples (n = 10) or samples with a high incidence (≥ 15%) of sperm with CD (n = 9) had similar motility patterns and responses to procaine. The origin of morphologically normal sperm had no effect on sperm viability (p > 0.05; n = 26). In conclusion, a moderately enhanced prevalence of sperm with CD seems to be compensable by an increase in sperm numbers in boar semen doses.



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