Observations on the turkey oviductal sperm-storage tubule using differential interference contrast microscopy

in Reproduction
M. R. Bakst
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Summary. Squash preparations of unfixed, uterovaginal junction mucosae revealed that openings to sperm-storage tubules were round or slit-like and were surrounded by either cilia, which were part of the uterovaginal junction surface epithelium, or nonciliated cells resembling the sperm-storage tubule epithelium. By focusing on different levels of the sperm-storage tubule (optical sectioning), connective tissue fibres and cells between individual sperm-storage tubules, epithelium and lumen of sperm-storage tubules containing resident spermatozoa were observed. An optical section through the sperm-storage tubule epithelium revealed basal nuclei and associated nucleoli, and refractile supranuclear lipid droplets. Luminal spermatozoa were distributed primarily in the distal third of the sperm-storage tubule and nearly always formed a tight bundle at its base. These spermatozoa were often observed slowly and synchronously oscillating. In two-thirds of the 30-week-old, non-photostimulated hens, sperm-storage tubules were fully formed. In contrast, the remaining hens possessed bud-like surface invaginations lacking discernible lumina. It was concluded that differential interference contrast microscopy offers better spatial and optical resolution of the sperm-storage tubule than other modes of light microscopy.

Keywords: sperm-storage tubules; oviduct; turkey


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