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Keywords:

  • biochemistry;
  • chimpanzee;
  • semen;
  • sperm;
  • motility

Abstract

The chimpanzee, because of its similarities to the human, is especially valuable in studies of reproductive function. However, relatively little is known about the physiology of reproduction in the adult male chimpanzee. This study provides, for five adult male chimpanzees, baseline values for testicular volume without and with pressure and for cellular and biochemical characteristics of ejaculates collected by artificial vagina (AV). There was no correlation between body weight and testicular volume measured without or with pressure. The ratios of mean testicular volume without and with pressure were not statistically different among animals. Statistical analysis of penetration of denuded hamster oocytes by ejaculated chimpanzee sperm revealed no correlations between sperm count and percentage of eggs penetrated. There was significant variability in concentrations of protein and fructose and in activities of alpha-glucosidase and acid phosphatase among samples from different animals. Computer-assisted motion analysis (CAMA) of sperm provided baseline data on motion parameters necessary for future evaluation of this technique for semen analysis in the chimpanzee. The level of demonstrated inter-animal variation mandates use of each animal as its own control for studies on normal and altered reproductive function. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.