|Title||Sperm quality evaluation in Solea senegalensis during the reproductive season at cellular level.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Authors||Beirão, J, Soares, F, Herráez, MP, Dinis, MT, Cabrita, E|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Date Published||2009 Dec|
|Keywords||Animals, Apoptosis, Aquaculture, Cell Separation, DNA Fragmentation, Flatfishes, Male, Osmotic Pressure, Reproduction, Seasons, Semen Analysis, Spermatozoa|
Sperm quality seems to be one of the reasons for the reproduction constraints faced by Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) aquaculturists. Previous studies in this species indicated that the sperm quality of individuals kept in culture varies throughout the year and that different sperm subpopulations can be identified in ejaculates according to the motility pattern of spermatozoa. Aiming to better understand factors affecting sole sperm quality in captivity, sperm of 11 males was assessed during the reproductive season using different parameters: motility characteristics using CASA analysis; cell plasma membrane resistance to seawater hyperosmolarity; DNA fragmentation with single-cell gel electrophoresis; and early apoptosis, labeled with Annexin-V FITC. Computer-assisted sperm analyses motility data were treated using multivariate analysis to identify the presence of different spermatozoa subpopulations according to their motility pattern. Four distinct sperm subpopulations were obtained: Subpop1, which includes fast linear spermatozoa; Subpop2, made up of fast nonlinear spermatozoa; Subpop3, which includes slow linear spermatozoa; and Subpop4, which contains slow nonlinear spermatozoa. The sperm subpopulation structure varied with time after activation and with male. Low cell resistance to the seawater hyperosmotic conditions was noticed. The Annexin-V assay allowed the identification of an apoptotic population ranging from 6% to 20%. A high percentage of cells (64.1%) showed a DNA fragmentation level below 30%, but these values varied significantly between males. DNA fragmentation appears to be related to cell membrane resistance to hyperosmotic conditions faced by the cells when in contact with seawater. This condition seems to modulate the composition of the motile sperm population and performance after activation. This phenomenon could be related to the spermatozoa maturation process.