Effect of Natural Photoperiod on Epididymal Sperm Quality and Testosterone Serum Concentration in Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris catus)
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
Reproduction in Domestic Animals
Special Issue: Canine and Feline Reproduction VII: Reproductive Biology and Medicine of Domestic and Exotic Carnivores. Proceedings of the 7th Quadrennial International Symposium on Canine and Feline Reproduction. Whistler, Canada. 26-29 July 2012.
Volume 47, Issue Supplement s6, pages 232–234, December 2012
How to Cite
Nuñez-Favre, R., Bonaura, M., Tittarelli, C., Mansilla-Hermann, D., de la Sota, R. and Stornelli, M. (2012), Effect of Natural Photoperiod on Epididymal Sperm Quality and Testosterone Serum Concentration in Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris catus). Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 47: 232–234. doi: 10.1111/rda.12050
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2012
The aim of this study was to assess epididymal sperm characteristics and serum testosterone concentration in cats under natural photoperiod. The hypothesis was that natural photoperiod induces seasonal changes in spermatozoal quality and serum testosterone concentration. Mixed breed tomcats (n = 43) that underwent bilateral orchiectomy at a municipal public pet shelter were used in the study. Epididymides were divided into two groups according to time of castration. In Group I, toms were castrated during increasing light (IL; [winter and spring; n = 24]), and group II, during decreasing light (DL; [summer and fall; n = 19]). Only mature toms castrated in the two lasts weeks of each season were included in this study. Sperm samples were obtained by cutting the cauda epididymis in Tris solution and tested for motility (MOT,% motile), velocity (VEL, 0–5), total sperm cells (TS, 106), acrosome integrity (ACR,% intact; FITC-PSA), plasma membrane integrity (MI,%intact; CFDA-PI) and sperm morphology (SM,% normal). Before orchiectomy, blood samples were taken to measure serum concentrations of testosterone (T2) by a solid-phase RIA. Data were analysed with the mixed procedure of SAS. Toms castrated during IL had higher sperm plasma membrane integrity and better sperm morphology compared to toms castrated during DL (69.0 ± 2.7 vs 60.6 ± 2.1, p < 0.01; 45.9 ± 2.5 vs 35.9 ± 3.4; p < 0.02; respectively) and tended to have higher sperm motility and total number of sperm cells compared to toms castrated during DL (56.3 ± 2.8 vs 47.3 ± 3.7, p < 0.06; 13.8 ± 1.4 vs 10.0 ± 1.8, p < 0.09). However, velocity, acrosome integrity and serum testosterone concentrations were similar between both groups (3.5 ± 0.1 vs 3.4 ± 0.1, p > 0.6; 45.8 ± 3.3 vs 44.0 ± 4.0, p > 0.72; 0.76 ± 0.15 vs 0.59 ± 0.19, p > 0.51; respectively). In conclusion, natural photoperiod induces seasonal changes in sperm quality with a moderate variation in serum testosterone concentrations.