DNA fragmentation assessment by flow cytometry and Sperm-Bos-Halomax (bright-field microscopy and fluorescence microscopy) in bull sperm

Int J Androl. 2007 Apr;30(2):88-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2605.2006.00723.x. Epub 2006 Dec 7.


The aim of this study was to find the relationship between fertility (as 90-day non-return rates) and DNA fragmentation assessed by two techniques [sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA) and Sperm-Bos-Halomax (SBH)]. Furthermore, other quality parameters were achieved (motility, morphological abnormalities, cytoplasmic droplets, viability, capacitation and acrosomal and mitochondrial status) and their correlations with fertility were analysed. Bulls were divided into three fertility groups: high [non-return rate (NRR) >or= 80], medium (80 < NRR >or= 70) and low (70 < NRR > 40). The results of this study indicate that there is a good correlation between fertility and different parameters of sperm quality (SBH and SCSA parameters, % of spermatozoa with head, neck and total abnormalities, and % of spermatozoa with proximal cytoplasmic droplets) and differences between fertility groups were observed in some of them (SBH and SCSA parameters and % of spermatozoa with head, neck and total abnormalities). In this sense, SBH parameters rendered good correlations with fertility (r = -0.42 using bright light microscope and r = -0.47 with fluorescence). Also, standard deviation of DNA fragmentation index (SD-DFI) and DFIh (cells with High DNA fragmentation index) showed good correlations with fertility (r = -0.41 and r = -0.29). No correlations were observed between SCSA and SBH parameters. A multiple regression shows that four parameters (% of proximal cytoplasmic droplets, % of intact acrosomes in total population, SD-DFI and percentage of fragmented DNA detected by bright light microscope) present a good predictive value of the fertility of sperm samples (r(2) = 0.34, p < 0.001).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrosome / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Chromatin / pathology*
  • Chromatin / physiology
  • DNA Fragmentation*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Infertility, Male / diagnosis
  • Infertility, Male / pathology
  • Infertility, Male / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sperm Capacitation / physiology
  • Sperm Motility / physiology
  • Spermatozoa / pathology*
  • Spermatozoa / physiology


  • Chromatin