Sperm abnormalities as possible indicators of rabbit chronic heat stress


  • A. Finzi Tuscia University
  • P. Morera Tuscia University
  • G. Kuzmisky Tuscia University




Rabbit sperm abnormalities have been studied in conditions of chronic heat stress. Very significant increases (P<0.001) have been observad. The max1mum was in the 1ourth week of stress when total abnormalities were 40.5 ± 13.2 % (+122.5 % in comparison with the pre-stress period); tail abnormalitles were 26.5 ± 10.5 % (+94.9 %); broken spermatozoa 11.1 ± 7.1 % (+552.9 %); bent tails 2.3 ± 1.7 % (+76.9 %); coiled tails 24.1 ± 10.3 % (+164.8 %). Head abnormalities and cytoplasmic droplets showed a decrease in the first weeks followed by a late increase. Combinad ratas have been studied to be usad as chronic heat stress indexes. Ratio between percentages of broken spermatozoa and tail abnormalities showed a quick and constant increase, while ratio between percentages of cytoplasmic droplets and coiled tails decreaseél to zero lrom the second to the fourth week to increase regularly after this period. Simultaneous observation of the two ratio trends should permit to judge about the time lag rabbits have been exposed to heat stress.


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