Skip to main content

Studies on the Dna Content, Dry Mass and Optical Area of Bull Spermatozoal Heads During Epididymal Maturation

Untersuchungen über DNA-Gehalt, Trockengewicht und Fläche von Bullen-Spermatozoenköpfen während ihrer epididymale Reifung

Undersökningar över DNA-mängd, torrvikt och cellyta av spermiehuvuden hos tjur under bitestikelmognaden

Summary

Microspectrophotometric, microinterferometric and microplanimetric techniques were used to investigate whether the maturation of bull spermatozoa is associated with any detectable changes in the major chemical components of the spermatozoal head. Round spermatids, caput, corpus, cauda epididymidal and ejaculated spermatozoa were obtained from six bulls with lowered fertility and three bulls with normal fertility. There was no quantitative change in DNA, in total dry mass or in optical area associated with the passage of spermatozoa between these areas of the epididymis. A marked reduction in relative Feulgen reactivity during spermiogenesis was found and was significantly more pronounced in spermatozoa from bulls with normal fertility than in spermatozoa from bulls of lowered fertility. It was suggested that this reduction signifies qualitative alterations of the spermatozoal deoxyribonucleoprotein complex and may be related to the fertility status of the bull.

Zusammenfassung

Mikrospektrophotometrische, mikrointerferometrische und mikroplanimetrische Methoden wurden angewandt, um festzustellen, ob die Reifung von Bullen-Spermatozoen mit nachweisbaren Veränderungen in der makromolekülären Zusammensetzung des Spermatozoenkopfes verbunden ist. Runde Spermatiden, Spermatozoen von Caput, Corpus und Cauda epididymidis, sowie ejakulierte Spermatozoen, wurden von sechs Bullen mit herabgesetzter Fertilität und drei Bullen mit normaler Fertilität erhalten. Es konnten keine quantitativen Unterschiede im Gehalt an DNA, im Totaltrockengewicht und in der Zelloberfläche des Spermatozoenkopfes im Zusammenhang mit ihrer Passage unter den untersuchten Gebieten des Nebenhodens gefunden werden. Eine auffallende Reduktion in der Feulgenreaktivität während der Spermiogenese wurde festgestellt und trat offensichtlich stärker in Spermatozoen von Bullen mit normaler Fertilität hervor als in Spermatozoen von Bullen mit herabgesetzter Fertilität. Es wird angenommen, dass diese Reduktion qualitative Veränderungen des Deoxyribonukleoprotein-Komplexes der Spermatozoen zum Ausdruck bringt und möglicherweise in Beziehung zur Fertilität des Bullen steht.

Sammanfattning

Mikrospektrofotometriska, mikrointerferometriska och mikroplanimetriska metoder har använts för att undersöka om tjurspermiens mognad är förenad med några påvisbara förändringar i den makromolekylära sammansättningen i spermiehuvudet. Runda spermatider, spermier från caput, corpus och cauda epididymidis samt ejakulerade spermier undersöktes från sex tjurar med nedsatt fertilitet samt från tre tjurar med normal fertilitet. Inga kvantitativa förändringar i spermiehuvudets halt av DNA, torrvikt eller i dess cellyta befanns vara förbundna med passagen mellan de olika bitestikelregionerna. En kraftig minskning i relativ Feulgenreaktivitet kunde påvisas under spermiogenesen. Denna minskning visade sig vara mer uttalad hos spermier från tjurar med normal fertilitet än hos spermier från tjurar med nedsatt fertilitet. Dessa resultat tyder på kvalitativa förändringar i deoxyribonukleoprotein-komplexet som kan tänkas vara relaterade till tjurens fertilitet.

References

  • Bedford, J. M.: Morphological changes in rabbit spermatozoa during passage through the epididymis. J. Reprod. Fertil. 1963, 5, 169–177.

  • Bedford, J. M.: Development of the fertilizing ability of spermatozoa in the rabbit epididymis. J. Reprod. Fertil. 1965, 10, 286–287.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bishop, D. W.: Biology of spermatozoa. In, Sex and Internal Secretions, ed. W. C. Young, The Williams & Wilkins Co., Baltimore, 3rd Ed., 1961, 2, 707–796.

  • Bishop, M. W. H. & A. Walton: Spermatogenesis and the structure of mammalian spermatozoa. In, Marshall’s Physiology of Reproduction, ed. A. S. Parkes, Longmans, Green & Co. Ltd., London, 3rd Ed., 1960, 1, part 2, 1–129.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bonnier, G. & O. Tedin: Biologisk Variationsanalys. Albert Bonnier, Stockholm 1940, 24–42.

  • Carlson, L. & B. L. Gledhill: Studies on the dry mass of bull spermatozoal heads. Comparative measurements using soft X-ray microradiography and microinterferometry. Exp. Cell Res. 1966, 41, 376–384.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Caspersson, O., T. O. Caspersson & G. M. Lomakka: A recording microplanimeter. Acta morph. neerl.-scand. 1960, 3, 205–214.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Caspersson, T. O.: Über den chemischen Aufbau der Strukturen des Zellkernes. Skand. Arch. Physiol. 1936, 73, Suppl. 8, 151 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Caspersson, T. O.: Methods for the determination of the absorption spectra of cell structures. J. roy. micr. Soc. 1940, 60, 8–25.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Caspersson, T. O.: Cell Growth and Cell Function. W. W. Norton & Co. Inc., New York 1950, 14–77.

  • Caspersson, T. O. & G. M. Lomakka: Scanning microscopy techniques for high-resolution quantitative cytochemistry. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1962, 97, 449–463.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Crabo, B.: Studies on the composition of epididymal content in bulls and boars. Acta vet. scand. 1965, 6, Suppl. 5, 94 pp.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gledhill, B. L.: Studies on the DNA content, dry mass and optical area of morphologically normal and abnormal bull spermatozoal heads. Acta vet. scand. 1966, 7, 1–20.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Gledhill, B. L., M. P. Gledhill, R. Rigler, Jr. & N. R. Ringertz: Changes in deoxyribonucleoprotein during spermiogenesis in the bull. Exp. Cell. Res. 1966, 41, 652–665.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Leblond, C. P. & Y. Clermont: Definition of the stages of the cycle of the seminiferous epithelium in the rat. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci. 1952, 55, 548–573.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Leuchtenberger, C.: The relation of the deoxyribosenucleic acid (DNA) of sperm cells to fertility. In, The Effect of Germ Cell Damage on Animal Reproduction, J. Dairy Sci. 1960, 43, Suppl. 1, 31–50.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lillie, R. D.: Histopathologic Technic. The Blakiston Co., Philadelphia 1948, 24–37.

  • Lindahl, P. E. & J.-E. Kihlström: Alterations in specific gravity during the ripening of bull spermatozoa. J. Dairy Sci. 1952, 35, 393–402.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lomakka, G. M.: A rapid scanning and integrating cytophotometer. Acta histochem. 1965a, Suppl. 6, 47–54.

  • Lomakka, G. M.: A rapid scanning and integrating microinterferometer. Acta histochem. 1965b, Suppl. 6, 393–396.

  • Mann, T.: The Biochemistry of Semen and of the Male Reproductive Tract. Methuen & Co. Ltd., London 1964, 17–36, 339–364.

  • Nicander, L.: Studies on the regional histology and cytochemistry of the ductus epididymidis in stallions, rams and bulls. Acta morph. neerl.-scand. 1958, 1, 337–362.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  • Orgcbin-Crist, M.-C: Recherches expérimentales sur la durée de passage des spermatozoïdes dans l’épididyme du taureau. Ann. Biol. anim. Biochem. Biophys. 1962, 2, 51–108.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • de la Torre, L. & G. W. Salisbury: Feulgen-DNA cytophotometry of bovine spermatozoa. J. Dairy Sci. 1964, 47, 284–292.

  • Welch, B. M.: A cytophotometric analysis of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) content in germ cells from Santa Gertrudis bulls. In, Studies in Genetics, ed. M. R. Wheeler, Univ. Tex. Publ. 6014, Austin, 1960, 136 pp.

  • Young, W. C.: A study of the function of the epididymis. II. The importance of an aging process in sperm for the length of the period during which fertilizing capacity is retained by sperm isolated in the epididymis of the guinea pig. J. Morph. 1929, 48, 475–491.

  • Young, W. C.: A study of the function of the epididymis. III. Functional changes undergone by spermatozoa during their passage through the epididymis and vas deferens in the guinea pig. J. exp. Biol. 1931, 8, 151–162.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

This study was supported by funds from the Swedish Agricultural Research Council, the Damon Runyon Memorial Fund and the Wallenberg Foundation. The author was the holder of a Public Health Service fellowship (1-F2-GM-14, 733-01A2) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Public Health Service while performing this investigation.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gledhill, B.L. Studies on the Dna Content, Dry Mass and Optical Area of Bull Spermatozoal Heads During Epididymal Maturation. Acta Vet Scand 7, 131–142 (1966). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03547104

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03547104