Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Post-castration epididymal sperm extraction

Synonym(s): Epididymal sperm extraction, Gamete rescue

Contributor(s): Madeleine L H Campbell, Camilla Scott

Introduction

  • The extraction of sperm from the epididymis of testis following surgical removal, as a precursor to cryopreservation Semen: cryopreservation (or immediate use).
  • Cryopreserved sperm harvested from epididymides has resulted in successful pregnancies in mares.

Uses

  • Gamete rescue provides the ability to harvest and store (cryopreserve) epididymal sperm from a sexual mature stallion following castration, euthanasia or death, allowing for the preservation of valuable genetics that would otherwise be lost.
  • A sexual rested mature stallion can be expected to have approximately 60% of total sperm numbers within the excurrent ducts, making epididymal sperm collection an efficient means of obtaining a final collection from a stallion.

Advantages

  • The advantage of using this method in conjunction with routine castration Testis: castration - overview is that the stallion does not have to be trained to have semen collected, which reduces the risk of injury and keeps costs down.
  • Following sudden death of a stallion, sperm from that stallion can be collected and cryopreserved and made available for use post-mortem.

Disadvantages

  • The quantity which will be retrieved is limited.
  • The quality of what is retrieved, both pre- and post-cryopreservation is likely to be lower quality than that of semen collected using pre-mortem semen collection methods Semen collection.
  • Pregnancy rates following the use of cryopreserved sperm retrieved from the epididymis may be lower than pregnancy rates achieved using fresh, chilled or conventionally collected, cryopreserved semen. The use of cryopreserved sperm retrieved from the epididymis may therefore be more appropriate in conjunction with other techniques such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection due to limited sperm availability, rather than using conventional frozen semen artificial insemination techniques.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Heise A, Kähn W, Volkmann D H, Thompson P N & Gerber D (2010) Influence of seminal plasma on fertility of fresh and frozen-thawed stallion epididymal spermatozoa. Anim Reprod Sci 118 (1), 239-240 PubMed.
  • Papa F O, Melo C M et al (2008) Freezing of stallion epididymal sperm. Anim Reprod Sci 107 (3-4), 293-301 PubMed.
  • Bruemmer J E (2006) Collection and freezing of epididymal stallion sperm. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 22 (3), 677-682 PubMed.
  • Braun J, Sakai M, Hochi S et al (2003) Preservation of ejaculated and epididymal stallion spermatozoa by cooling and freezing. Theriogenology 41 (4), 809-818 PubMed.
  • Schulman M L, Gerber D, Nurton J et al (2003) Effects of halothane anaesthesia on the crypreservation of epididymal spermatozoa in pony stallions. Equine Vet J 35 (1), 93-95 PubMed.
  • Bruemmer J E, Reger H et al (2002) Effects of storage at 5°C on the motility and cryopreservation of stallion epididymal spermatozoa. Theriogenology 58, 405-407.
  • Morris L H A, Tiplady C A & Allen W R (2002) The in vivo fertility of caudal epididymal spermatozoa in the horse. Theriogenology 58, 643-646.
  • Morris L H A, Tiplady C A & Allen W R (2001) Hysteroscopic insemination of mares with frozen-thawed epididymal spermatozoa. Havemeyer Found Monogr Ser 6, 38-40.

Other sources of information

  • Bruemmer J (2011) Freezing Epididymal Spermatozoa. In: Equine Reproduction. Eds: McKinnon A O, Squires E L, Vaala W E & Varner D L. Blackwell Publishing, UK. pp 2983-2986.
  • Eichelberger A C, Troedsson M H T, Pozor M A & MacPherson M L (2007) How to Collect, Handle, and Process Post- Mortem Epididymal Sperm for Breeding or Assisted Reproductive Techniques. In: AAEP Proceedings. pp 583-586.


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