Date of Award

12-2014

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Pearl

Second Advisor

Dr. Karim Essani

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Eversole

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until

12-15-2024

Abstract

Artificial insemination (AI) is commonly used for breeding of horses. Selecting high quality semen is critical to AI success but is difficult to achieve. In this study, we investigate the potential of generating antibodies against stallion sperm to identify subpopulations of post-thaw sperm based on surface markers. Female Balb/C mice are immunized with semen from a 24-year-old fertile stallion followed by booster immunizations each week for at least six weeks. Monoclonal antibodies are generated by fusion of myeloma cells to mouse spleen cells. Eight monoclonal antibodies resulting from these fusions are subdivided into four immunostaining patterns. These patterns differentially recognize antigens that are located in the acrosome, posterior head, hinge and tail region of the sperm. One antibody is IgM while the remaining seven antibodies are class IgG3. Quantification of the expression pattern of two antibodies indicates that subpopulations of sperm do exist. Thus differences in sperm protein expression are variable and may contribute to success rates of artificial insemination.

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