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Current status of sexing mammalian spermatozoa.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Reproduction
1470-1626
Publisher
BioScientifica
Publication Date
Volume
124
Issue
6
Pages
733–743
Identifiers
PMID: 12537000
Source
Medline

Abstract

Thousands of offspring have now been produced via artificial insemination with spermatozoa sexed by flow cytometry and cell sorting. We are unaware of any other practical approach to sexing spermatozoa that maintains fertility. Accuracy of sexing usually is 85-95% in most species, but somewhat lower with human spermatozoa. Spermatozoa are sexed in series, one at a time, at routine rates of about 3000 live spermatozoa of each sex per second for most species, and nearly twice that rate under optimal conditions for some species. Owing to various constraints and statistical considerations, there appears to be an upper theoretical limit to sexing spermatozoa of about 10,000 live spermatozoa of each sex per second with current methodology. About a quarter of the spermatozoa processed are sexed; the rest are discarded in the process or lost due to logistical constraints. Spermatozoa undergo some damage during sorting, although much less in terms of viability than with routine cryopreservation; fertility is lower with sexed than control spermatozoa. Offspring from sexed spermatozoa appear to have no more abnormalities than do controls, and both groups grow and thrive similarly. Despite high costs and complex procedures, sexing spermatozoa, usually followed by cryopreservation, is being used commercially for cattle and horse production in several countries, and is used to produce girls to avoid X-chromosome-linked genetic diseases.

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