Abstract: P-357

Sperm Quality in the Retrograde Fraction of Semen Collected by Rectal Probe Electroejaculation in the Olive Baboon.

Presenter: Jamie Dubaut


Abstract


OBJECTIVE: A fraction of sperm collected by rectal probe electroejaculation (RPE) can be found in the bladder in humans and some non-human primates, but this has not been described in the baboon. In humans, the retrograde fraction is inferior in sperm number and motility (1); however, in lion-tailed macaques the opposite is true (2). Obtaining high quality sperm is vital to research in baboons, particularly for in vitro fertilization (IVF) (3). view more

OBJECTIVE: A fraction of sperm collected by rectal probe electroejaculation (RPE) can be found in the bladder in humans and some non-human primates, but this has not been described in the baboon. In humans, the retrograde fraction is inferior in sperm number and motility (1); however, in lion-tailed macaques the opposite is true (2). Obtaining high quality sperm is vital to research in baboons, particularly for in vitro fertilization (IVF) (3). We report on the difference in sperm quantity, motility and rate of forward progression (RFP) between the antegrade and retrograde fractions of ejaculate obtained by RPE in the olive baboon.
DESIGN: Prospective observational study.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: IACUC approval was obtained. Serial semen samples were collected under ketamine sedation from 9 adult male baboons (ages 6-16 years). Urine was collected by catheterization, the bladder flushed then infused with 30 mL of modified human tubal fluid (mHTF). RPE was conducted using a standardized protocol, the antegrade sample collected directly, and the retrograde sample collected by catheterization. Both samples were analyzed for sperm number, motility, and RFP (scale 0-4) according to WHO criteria by two andrologists. Statistical analysis was performed using matched-pair Wilcoxon signed rank tests.
RESULTS: 21 collections were obtained from 9 subjects; in 3 collections some paired data were missing. Semen parameters were not normally distributed. Median sperm motility in the antegrade was 46.0% (range 0-98%) and in the retrograde, 79% (range 44-94%). The median RFP in the antegrade was 2 (range 0-3) and 3 in the retrograde (range 2-4). Median total sperm in the antegrade was 4.1 x 106 (range 0-239.2 x 106) and 19.5 x106 in the retrograde (range 0.3-242 x 106). Means, mean difference, and p-values are presented in Table 1. Mean motility difference was 32.2% (95% CI 16.8 to 53.6%); higher in the retrograde fraction (p<0.01). Mean difference in RFP was 1.4 (95% CI 0.9 to 2; p<0.01). Total sperm count in the antegrade was not different from the retrograde.

Table 1: Comparison between antegrade and retrograde semen paramters

Antegrade Retrograde Mean difference (95% CI) p-value
Motility (n=20) 41.9% 77.0% 35.2% (16.8 to 53.6%) <0.01
RFP (n=19) 1.4 2.8 1.4 (0.9 to 2.0) <0.01
Total sperm (n=18) 37.6 x 106 43.2 x 106 5.5 x 106 (-31 to +42 x 106) 0.21

CONCLUSIONS: In baboons, a fraction of the sperm is localized in the bladder infusate after RPE. This retrograde sperm is of higher motility and RFP than sperm in the antegrade fraction. In future baboon reproductive studies requiring RPE, the retrograde fraction of sperm should be considered as a source of high quality sperm.

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