Authors:Szabolcs Tamás Nagy, Balázs Kakasi, László Pál, Máté Havasi, Miklós Bercsényi and Ferenc Husvéth
Local extreme climatic conditions occurring as a result of global climate change may interfere with the reproduction of animals. In the present study fish spermatozoa were incubated at different temperatures (20, 25, 30 and 40 °C) for 10 and 30 minutes, respectively and plasma membrane integrity and mitochondrial membrane potential changes were evaluated with flow cytometry using SYBR-14/PI and Mitotracker Deep Red FM fluorescent dyes. No significant differences were found in plasma membrane integrity at either incubation temperatures or time points. Mitotracker Deep Red FM histogram profiles indicating mitochondrial activity showed significant (p < 0.001) alterations in all cases of higher (25, 30 and 40 °C) temperature treatments as compared to the samples incubated at 20 °C. Our results indicate that fish spermatozoa exposed to high temperatures suffer sublethal damage that cannot be detected with conventional, vital staining techniques.