Abstract # 1929 Poster # 155:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 17 (Regency West 1/3 ) Poster Presentation


SPERM COLLECTION FROM OWL MONKEYS (Aotus SP.)

A. M. Schuler, S. V. Gibson and J. M. Westberry
University of South Alabama, Department of Comparative Medicine, College of Medicine, Mobile, AL 36688, USA
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     Reliable sperm collection is crucial for development of assisted reproductive technologies in owl monkeys. Electroejaculation, a common method for sperm collection in laboratory primates, has been unsuccessful in owl monkeys. Furthermore, testicular biopsy fails to reveal spermatogenesis even in successful breeders. A vibrostimulation technique has been described in marmosets (Callithrix sp.) and squirrel monkeys (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis). Here, we have modified this technique to collect sperm from owl monkeys and report limited success. For collection, the animal is placed in a sling-like apparatus and fed a “treat” food item. Sperm is collected into a 50 ul PCR tube using a FERTICARE ® personal vibrator to stimulate the penis. Eight animals from our breeding colony have been habituated to vibrostimulation. To date, six animals routinely maintain erection during vibrostimulation. Three animals give sperm samples approximately 20% of the time. Sperm samples are small (< 5 ul) and have fewer than 20% motile sperm. The relatively small testicular volume and seminal vesicles (compared to squirrel monkeys with similar body weight) may contribute to small sample volumes. These samples are characterized by multiple abnormalities including: tail-less sperm, kinked or broken tails and/or mid-pieces, two-headed sperm, immature sperm, and megalospermatozoon. While the poor quality of these samples is of concern, this method of collection yields adequate sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Supported by R24 RR 20052.