21 August 2015
The purposes of this study were to examine the relationship between male artificial insemination (AI) fertility and sperm acrosomal conditions assessed by new and conventional staining techniques and to identify possible reproductive dysfunctions causing low conception rates in AI using frozen-thawed spermatozoa with poor acrosomal conditions in Japanese Black bulls. We investigated individual differences among bulls in the results concerning (1) acrosomal conditions of frozen-thawed spermatozoa as assessed by not merely peanut agglutinin-lectin staining (a conventional staining technique) but also immunostaining of acrosomal tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins (a new staining technique), (2) routine AI using frozen-thawed spermatozoa as assessed by pregnancy diagnosis, (3) in vivo fertilization of frozen-thawed spermatozoa and early development of fertilized eggs as assessed by superovulation/AI-embryo collection tests and (4) in vitro fertilization of frozen-thawed spermatozoa with oocytes. The percentages of frozen-thawed spermatozoa with normal acrosomal conditions assessed by the abovementioned staining techniques were significantly correlated with the conception rates of routine AI, rates of transferable embryos in superovulation/AI-embryo collection tests and in vitro fertilization rates. These results are consistent with new suggestions that the distribution of acrosomal tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins as well as the acrosomal morphology of frozen-thawed spermatozoa are AI fertility-associated markers that are valid for the prediction of AI results and that low conception rates in AI using frozen-thawed spermatozoa with poor acrosomal conditions result from reproductive dysfunctions in the processes between sperm insemination into females and early embryo development, probably failed fertilization of frozen-thawed spermatozoa with oocytes.