Estimation of the potential fertility based upon non-return rates of bulls: using polyacrylamide gel instead of cervical mucus in the sperm penetration test

Taş, M.; Bacinoglu, S.; Cirit, U.; Ozgümüş, S.; Kaşgöz, H.; Pabuccuoğlu, S.

Theriogenology 68(7): 981-987


ISSN/ISBN: 0093-691X
PMID: 17850857
DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2007.07.011
Document Number: 372012
In the present study, we aimed to develop a polyacrylamide gel that could be used instead of bovine cervical mucus in the cervical mucus penetration test (CMPT) to obtain coherent and replicable results in bulls. The frozen semen samples of six Holstein bulls, which were divided into two fertility groups as low and high according to their non-return rate (NRR), were used. In this study, the modified CMPT (mCMPT) was carried out within 0.25 mL transparent plastic straws with an inner diameter 1.7 mm. The penetration ability of spermatozoa to bovine cervical mucus and to polyacrylamide gels swollen with two different solutions [NaCl (G1) and PBS (G2)] was compared. For the penetration test, the straws filled with cervical mucus and both gels were dipped into thawed semen samples and incubated at 37 degrees C for 15 min. After the incubation, straws were frozen in liquid nitrogen vapour and stored at -20 degrees C. On the evaluation day, the frozen straws were cut at 1.5-1.75 cm (penetration distance range=PDR1), 3.25-3.5 cm (PDR2) and 5.0-5.25 cm (PDR3), beginning from open-end of the straws. The separated frozen parts were then immediately transferred onto special counting slides by pushing with a mandrel and left to thaw. Thawed samples were covered with cover glass and penetrated spermatozoa in these parts were counted. The relation between the results and fertility of bulls was determined. In the tests performed using mucus, the number of spermatozoa determined in the high fertility group was found to be higher at PDR3 (p<0.0001) compared to the low fertility group, while in G1 spermatozoa number was significantly higher at PDR1 and PDR3 (p<0.0001). However, in G2 medium, no significant difference was observed between either of the fertility groups with respect to spermatozoa number determined at all distance ranges. In the study, we have determined that the gel swollen with NaCl produces better results and this gel can be used instead of bovine cervical mucus for the CMPT. Therefore, we have concluded that the penetration test performed by polyacrylamide gel swollen with NaCl can be a suitable technique for estimation of the potential fertility of bull spermatozoa.

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