Fertility of mouse spermatozoa retrieved from cadavers and maintained at 4°C

in Reproduction

After male animals die, the spermatozoa within the testis and epididymis eventually disintegrate. In this study, the motility, viability and fertility of mouse spermatozoa were examined after retrieval from the epididymis at various days after death. Cadavers were maintained in a refrigerator at 4°C. About 30% of the spermatozoa collected 10 days after death were viable, but they had limited ability to fertilize oocytes in vitro. However, when the spermatozoa were injected into oocytes, the fertilization rate was over 80%. Normal live fetuses were even obtained using immotile spermatozoa retrieved 20 days after death. Therefore, when valuable male animals die unexpectedly and sperm cryopreservation is not possible immediately, temporal storage of cadavers (or epididymis and vas deferens) at 4°C in a regular refrigerator followed by intracytoplasmic sperm injection may help to preserve the genome of individuals. This procedure could be particularly important in endangered species.

 

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Society for Reproduction and Fertility

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