Effect of various pH levels on the sperm kinematic parameters of boars

Author: Cindy U. Rivas1,2, María E. Ayala3, Andrés Aragón1#
Year: 2022
Issue: 5
Volume: 52
Page: 693 - 704

The objective of this work was to identify the effects of pH on the structure of kinematic sperm subpopulations using commercial doses of boar semen diluted in Androstar Plus extender. We adjusted the pH value of the diluted semen samples to 7.4, 7.6, 7.8, and 8.0, and evaluated motility parameters using an open-source computer-assisted sperm analysis system. We evaluated the dataset of the kinematic parameters of the individual sperm for the effects of pH on the average values overall and on the subpopulations of sperm. To identify these subpopulations, we reduced the dimensionality of the dataset through principal component analysis followed by hierarchical clustering. We then compared the results for the kinematic parameters across the dataset and in the subpopulations with the average of the corresponding control (i.e., the basal pH value). We found that increasing the pH did not affect the proportion of motile sperm but did affect the manner in which they moved, rendering their movement more linear. The progressive motility increased relative to the control at all pH values above 7.1, while the proportion of sperm with low motility increased at pH 7.8. We distinguished three sperm subpopulations. The proportion of sperm in Subpopulation 1 increased at pH values of 7.8 and 8.0, with the sperm being characterized by low velocity and high values for linearity. The sperm in Subpopulation 3, by contrast, were relatively few but showed relatively high curvilinear velocity. In this study, we demonstrated the presence of subpopulations of boar sperm that responded differentially to changes in pH.

Keywords: boar, CASA system, kinematic sperm subpopulations, multivariate statistics, sperm motility
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