alexa Puberty in the male chimpanzee: progressive maturation of semen characteristics.

Journal of Primatology

Author(s): Marson J, Meuris S, Cooper RW, Jouannet P

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Abstract Cellular and biochemical characteristics of semen obtained by masturbation were studied in 5 pubertal chimpanzees during 1.5 yr. The dental age corresponding to the beginning of the pubertal testicular growth (Po) ranged from 5.0 to 8.3 years (mean = 6.7 +/- 1.2 yr). Time-related variations of all studied parameters were analyzed according to Po and, therefore, independently of the dental age. The emission of first ejaculates, and therefore the onset of activity of the accessory sex gland, was estimated to occur 4 mo after Po. The ejaculate volume (n = 132, r = 0.704, p less than 0.001), as well as the total amounts of l-carnitine (n = 65, r = 0.649, p less than 0.001), fructose (r = 0.522, p less than 0.001), citrate (r = 0.748, p less than 0.001), and acid phosphatase (r = 0.756, p less than 0.001) increased with time. First-obtained ejaculates contained no spermatozoa. Spermarche was estimated to occur 9.4 mo after Po. Total sperm count increased with time (r = 0.595, p less than 0.001). The motility and viability of spermatozoa increased with time (r = 0.474, p less than 0.01 and r = 0.632, p less than 0.001, respectively) while their morphology did not vary. The volume of the liquefied fraction and its content in free spermatozoa considered as available for fecundation remained low until the end of the study, most likely because of a delayed maturation of the prostate. This study shows that the maturation of the male genital tract is a progressive process. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
This article was published in Biol Reprod and referenced in Journal of Primatology

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