Effect of centrifugal fractionation protocols on quality and recovery rate of equine sperm. Academic Article uri icon


  • Centrifugal fractionation of semen is commonly done to improve quality of human semen in assisted-reproduction laboratories, allowing sperm separation based on their isopycnic points. Sperm with morphologic abnormalities are often more buoyant, promoting their retention above defined density media, with structurally normal sperm passing through the media following centrifugation. Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of density-medium type, centrifuge-tube size, sperm number, and density-medium volume (column height) on stallion sperm quality and recovery rate in sperm pellets following centrifugation. In all three experiments, equine semen was initially centrifuged to increase sperm concentration. In Experiment 1, semen was layered over continuous or discontinuous gradients. For Experiment 2, semen was layered over three column heights of continuous gradients in 15- or 50-ml conical-bottom tubes. For Experiment 3, increasing sperm numbers were layered over continuous gradient in 15- or 50-ml conical-bottom tubes. Following centrifugation, sperm pellets were evaluated for sperm morphologic quality, motility, DNA integrity, and recovery rate. Centrifugal fractionation improved (P < 0.05) sperm morphology, motility, and DNA integrity, as compared to controls. The continuous gradient increased (P < 0.05) sperm recovery rate relative to the discontinuous gradient, whereas sperm processed in 15-ml tubes yielded higher velocity and higher recovery rates (P < 0.05 for each) than that processed in 50-ml tubes. Sperm recovery rate was not affected (P > 0.05) by column height of gradient. Increasing sperm number subjected to gradient centrifugation decreased (P < 0.05) sperm recovery rate when 15-ml tubes were used.

published proceedings

  • Theriogenology

author list (cited authors)

  • Edmond, A. J., Brinsko, S. P., Love, C. C., Blanchard, T. L., Teague, S. R., & Varner, D. D.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Edmond, AJ||Brinsko, SP||Love, CC||Blanchard, TL||Teague, SR||Varner, DD

publication date

  • January 2012