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Sperm motility initiation and duration in a euryhaline fish, medaka (Oryzias latipes)

Yang, H., Tiersch, T.R.
Theriogenology 2009 v.72 no.3 pp. 386-392
aqueous solutions, glucose, male reproductive system, males, sperm motility, storage time, assisted reproductive technologies, Oryzias latipes, male fertility, reproductive traits, fish, spermatozoa, refrigeration, saline water, physiological response, germplasm conservation, osmolarity
The medaka, Oryzias latipes, is a well-recognized fish model for biomedical research. An understanding of gamete characteristics is necessary for experimental manipulations such as artificial fertilization and sperm cryopreservation. The goal of this study was to investigate sperm characteristics of motility initiation, duration, and retention in medaka. First, motility was initiated by osmolality values ranging from 25 to 686mOsm/kg, which included deionized water and hypotonic, isotonic, and hypertonic Hanks' balanced salt solution. The percentage of motile sperm was >80% when osmolality was <315mOsm/kg and decreased as osmolality increased. This is different from most fish with external fertilization in which sperm motility can be initiated by hypotonic (for freshwater fish) or hypertonic (for marine fish) solutions or by altering the concentration of specific ions such as potassium (e.g., in salmonids). Second, upon activation, the sperm remained continuously motile, with reserve capacity, for as long as 1 wk during storage at 4°C. This was also different from other externally fertilizing fish, in which motility is typically maintained for seconds to several minutes. Third, after changing the osmolality to 46 to 68 mOsm/kg by adding deionized water, the motility of sperm held at 274 to 500 mOsm/kg was higher than the original motility (P <=0.035) after 24, 48, and 72h of storage at 4°C. Fourth, the addition of glucose had no effect on maintaining sperm motility during refrigerated storage. To our knowledge, this combination of sperm motility characteristics is reported for the first time in fish and may be unique to medaka or may represent an undescribed modality of sperm behavior within euryhaline fish.