Dina E.M. Rashad1, Mohamed M.M. Kandiel1*, Ahmed R.M. El-Khawagah1, Karima Gh. M. Mahmoud2, Yousef F. Ahmed2, Abou El-Roos Mahmoud E.A.1 and Gamal A.M. Sosa1 1Theriogenology Department, Faculty Veterinary Medicine, Benha University, Egypt 2Animal Reproduction and Artificial Insemination, National Research Centre, Dokki, Giza, Egypt4,5
This study was aimed to declare the role of epididymal passage on semen features, DNA integrity and ultrastructures changes in dromedary camel. The testes with attached epididymis of mature dromedary camels (n=50) were collected during the rutting season from December to April. The harvested spermatozoa from the three-main anatomical epididymal segments (Head, body and tail) were assessed for semen characters, DNA integrity as well as, ultra-structural changes. A significant difference in semen features (individual motility, sperm count, membrane and acrosome intactness, viability, normality, maturity, abnormalities and acrosome length and perimeter) among different epididymal segments. Spermatozoa from epididymal tail showed a significantly (p<0.05) lower DNA fragmentation than those collected from head segment while agarose gel electrophoresis revealed non-significant difference in DNA intensity between spermatozoa from the three epididymal regions. Ultra-structures of the epididymal spermatozoa showed changes in acrosome shape, sub-acrosomal space, chromatin condensation and protoplasmic droplet during epididymal passage. The protoplasmic droplets varied in size, density and position with the epididymal segments. In conclusion, epididymal passage (from the head to the tail) is an essential pre-request for dromedary camels’ spermatozoa to attain high fertilising capacity through its great influence on spermatozoa characteristics and the fine cytological structures.
Key words: DNA integrity, dromedary camel, epididymis, spermatozoa, ultra-structures