GONADAL AND EPIDIDYMAL SPERM RESERVES IN THE RABBIT: ESTIMATION OF THE DAILY SPERM PRODUCTION

in Reproduction

Summary.

In the rabbit, daily sperm production by the testes was estimated by determining the total number of spermatozoa and late spermatids contained in a testicular suspension, and the length of the spermatogenic cycle was estimated by an autoradiographic technique. In twenty bucks, 9 to 14 months old (mean weight 3·9 kg), which had spent 6·9±1·8 weeks in a constant photoperiod of 14 hr light daily, the mean sperm production was 147·4 × 106/day and 1 g of their testicular tissue yielded 26·5 × 106 sperm/day. In another group of thirteen bucks, 15 to 16 months old, which had spent 26·3±1·7 weeks under similar lighting conditions, mean sperm production was 115·8 × 106/day and 1 g of testis yielded 21·4 × 106 sperm/day. The difference between the two groups of animals is highly significant and it is postulated that a constant photoperiod is deleterious for sperm production. In rabbits collected from twice a week the daily sperm output was consistently lower than the testicular sperm production, indicating that slightly more than 50% of the spermatozoa produced are resorbed.

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