Motility, acrosome reaction and oocyte fertilizing ability were assessed for bull spermatozoa after incubation in regional (isthmic or ampullary), bovine oviductal fluid, pooled by stage of the oestrous cycle. Oviductal fluids collected daily from isthmic and ampullary cannulae implanted in the same oviduct were divided into pools, representing two oestrous cycle stages, based on daily serum progesterone concentrations. Ejaculated bull spermatozoa were incubated for 0–6 h in each type of oviductal fluid. Incubation in isthmic oviductal fluid collected during the nonluteal stage, including oestrus and ovulation, decreased overall sperm motility (from 71.7% motile spermatozoa to 34.0% and both path (78 μm s−1 versus 86–89 μm s−1) and progressive (74 μm s−1 versus 83–85 μm s−1) velocities of spermatozoa motion. Spermatozoa incubated in isthmic, non-luteal oviductal fluid had a higher rate and extent of sperm acrosome reaction (213% of control versus 136–161% of control by 2 h incubation) compared with spermatozoa incubated in other oviductal fluid types. However, incubation in nonluteal ampullary fluid increased the number of spermatozoa, which were both acrosome reacted and live, and able to fertilize bovine ova (88.7% fertilized versus 75–81%). Glycosaminoglycan concentrations were similar among types of oviductal fluid (0.77–0.88 mg ml−1). These findings indicate that oviductal fluid differentially affects sperm function, depending on the oviduct region and the stage of the oestrous cycle at which the fluid was obtained.
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