Testicular Characteristics and the Block to Spermatogenesis in Mature Hinny

  • Han, Hongmei ;
  • Wang, Aihong ;
  • Liu, Liming ;
  • Zhao, Gaoping ;
  • Su, Jie ;
  • Wang, Biao ;
  • Li, Yunxia ;
  • Zhang, Jindun ;
  • Wu, Baojiang ;
  • Sun, Wei ;
  • Hu, Shuxiang ;
  • Li, Shuyu ;
  • Zhao, Lixia ;
  • Li, Xihe
  • Received : 2015.08.12
  • Accepted : 2015.12.06
  • Published : 2016.06.01


Most hinnies (female donkey${\times}$male horse) and mules (female horse${\times}$male donkey) are sterile with few reports of equine fertile hybrids. The main cause of this sterility is thought to be a meiotic block to spermatogenesis and oogenesis. This study compared the developmental features of the testes and a histological analyses of spermatogenesis in a male hinny with those of a normal, fertile stallion and Jack donkey. Hinny testes showed a thicker tunica albuginea, fewer blood vessels and more connective tissue in the testis parenchyma than those of the stallion and Jack donkey. Although the mean number of seminiferous tubules was significantly higher in stallion and hinny than Jack donkey (p<0.01), the mean proportion of seminiferous tubules was lower in the hinny (p<0.01) which resulted in a smaller diameter of seminiferous tubules. The mean number of spermatogonia and spermatocytes per unit area were significantly lower in hinny testis (p<0.01) and no spermatids or mature spermatozoa cells were found during immunofluorescent analyses. These results indicated that defects in seminiferous tubule development and structure occur in the testis of hinnies. Furthermore, most spermatogonia and spermatocytes cease development in synapsis during mid-meiosis of spermatocytes, which results in a block to spermatogenesis that prevents the formation of spermatids and matured spermatozoa during meiosis in male hinnies.


Hinny;Testis;Seminiferous Tubule;Spermatogenesis;Defect;Sterility


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