Number of Spermatozoa in the Crypts of the Sperm Reservoir at About 24 h After a Low-Dose Intrauterine and Deep Intrauterine Insemination in Sows


Author’s address (for correspondence): Padet Tummaruk, Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproduction, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10330, Thailand. E-mail:


The aim of this study was to investigate the number of spermatozoa in the crypts of the utero-tubal junction (UTJ) and the oviduct of sows approximately 24 h after intrauterine insemination (IUI) and deep intrauterine insemination (DIUI) and compared with that of conventional artificial insemination (AI). Fifteen crossbred Landrace × Yorkshire (LY) multiparous sows were used in the experiment. Transrectal ultrasonography was performed every 4 h to examine the time of ovulation in relation to oestrous behaviour. The sows were inseminated with a single dose of diluted fresh semen by the AI (n = 5), IUI (n = 5) and DIUI (n = 5) at approximately 6–8 h prior to the expected time of ovulation, during the second oestrus after weaning. The sperm dose contained 3000 × 106 spermatozoa in 100 ml for AI, 1,000 × 106 spermatozoa in 50 ml for IUI and 150 × 106 spermatozoa in 5 ml for DIUI. The sows were anaesthetized and ovario-hysterectomized approximately 24 h after insemination. The oviducts and the proximal part of the uterine horns (1 cm) on each side of the reproductive tracts were collected. The section was divided into four parts, i.e. UTJ, caudal isthmus, cranial isthmus and ampulla. The spermatozoa in the lumen in each part were flushed several times with phosphate buffer solution. After flushing, the UTJ and all parts of the oviducts were immersed in a 10% neutral buffered formalin solution. The UTJ and each part of the oviducts were cut into four equal parts and embedded in a paraffin block. The tissue sections were transversely sectioned to a thickness of 5 μm. Every fifth serial section was mounted and stained with haematoxylin and eosin. The total number of spermatozoa from 32 sections in each parts of the tissue (16 sections from the left side and 16 sections from the right side) was determined under light microscope. The results reveal that most of the spermatozoa in the histological section were located in groups in the epithelial crypts. The means of the total number of spermatozoa in the sperm reservoir (UTJ and caudal isthmus) were 2296, 729 and 22 cells in AI, IUI and DIUI groups, respectively (p < 0.01). The spermatozoa were found on both sides of the sperm reservoir in all sows in the AI and the IUI groups. For the DIUI group, spermatozoa were not found on any side of the sperm reservoir in three out of five sows, found in unilateral side of the sperm reservoir in one sow and found in both sides of the sperm reservoir in one sow. No spermatozoa were found in the cranial isthmus, while only one spermatozoon was found in the ampulla part of a sow in the IUI group. In conclusion, DIUI resulted in a significantly lower number of spermatozoa in the sperm reservoir approximately 24 h after insemination compared with AI and IUI. Spermatozoa could be obtained from both sides of the sperm reservoir after AI and IUI but in one out of five sows inseminated by DIUI.