The aim of this study was to compare semen characteristics including sperm quantity, quality, and abnormalities, as well as histological structure of the testis of three-year old transgenic (human clotting factor, hFVIII, gene) and nontransgenic rabbits. For the experiment, 10 transgenic rabbits of F2 and F3 generations and 10 randomly selected non-transgenic males of the same breed and age were used as controls. All males were housed in individual cages, under a the same environmental conditions: photoperiod (14L:10D), temperature (18-20°C), and humidity (65-70%). Semen samples, collected once a week for 20 wk from each control and transgenic male, were analyzed by computer assited semen analysis within a few minutes following natural ejaculation into an artificial vagina. Concentration of spermatozoa was higher in the transgenic than in the non-transgenic group (P<0.001; 316.6±148.8 and 126.7±64.4×106/ mL, respectively). Significant differences (P<0.1) between transgenic and non-transgenic males were observed also in spermatozoa motility (63.08 vs. 32.60%). Significantly higher (P<0.05) relative volume (8.08±2.89%) and diameter of testicular lumen (36.89±23.11 μm) were found in the transgenic animals compared to control animals (16.69±4.70%, 53.89±25.42 μm). Our results show that spermatozoa parameters and histological structure of the testis can be used for the characterization of male reproductive traits of older transgenic rabbits.
transgenic rabbit; spermatozoa quality; testicular histology