Effect of sex sorting on CTC staining, actin cytoskeleton and tyrosine phosphorylation in bull and boar spermatozoa

D. Bucci, G. Galeati, C. Tamanini, C. Vallorani, J. E. Rodriguez-Gil, M. Spinaci

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Sperm sorting is a useful technology that permits sex preselection. It presents some troubles because of low fertility after the process. The main aim of this work was to analyze the putative existence of capacitation-like changes in both boar and bull sperm subjected to sex sorting that could lead to a detriment of semen quality. The parameters used were CTC staining patterns, actin cytoskeleton organization and tyrosine phosphorylation patterns; the last two were determined by both western blotting and immunofluorescence. Sex sorted spermatozoa were compared with fresh, in vitro capacitated and in vitro acrosome reacted sperm. In both species, sex sorted sperm showed a CTC staining pattern similar to that observed after in vitro capacitation. The actin pattern distribution after sperm sorting also tended to be similar to that observed after in vitro capacitation, but this effect was more pronounced in bull than in boar spermatozoa. However, actin expression analysis through western blot did not show any change in either species. The tyrosine phosphorylation pattern in boar sperm was practically unaltered after the sex sorting process, but in bulls about 40% of spermatozoa had a staining pattern indicative of capacitation. Additionally, western blotting analysis evidenced some differences in the expression of protein tyrosine phosphorylation among fresh, capacitated, acrosome reacted and sex sorted sperm cells in both species. Our results indicate that not all the sex-sorted-related modifications of the studied parameters were similar to those occurring after " in vitro" capacitation, thus suggesting that sex sorting-induced alterations of sperm function and structure do not necessarily indicate the achievement of the capacitated status of sorted sperm. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1206-1216
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012


  • Boar
  • Bull
  • Capacitation
  • Sex-sorting
  • Spermatozoa


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