Oxidative and functional status of bovine semen cryopreserved in different seasons
Keywords:Bovine, Season, Thermal stress, Oxidative stress, Polyunsaturated fatty acids
In general, Taurus bulls under tropical conditions demonstrate reduced fertility due to heat and oxidative stress on testicular tissue. This high incidence of sperm damage is generally enhanced by the large amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) naturally present in bull sperm. Despite PUFA increase cellular sensitivity to lipid peroxidation, they are essential for membrane fluidity and also promote high cellular protection during cryopreservation process. Some reports related that animals and plants provided from cold weather present higher cellular concentration of PUFA, so the present study aims to compare the effect of the season on sperm quality of Taurus and Zebu bulls. Cryoprotected semen samples of 10 Nelore (Bos taurus indicus) and 10 Simmental (Bos taurus taurus) bulls were analyzed during winter and summer seasons. After freezing-thawing process, semen samples were submitted to sperm motility and vigor analysis, to tests of plasma membrane integrity (MPI–Eosin/Nigrosin), acrosomal integrity (MAI-POPE), DNA fragmentation degree (DNAf-Comet Assay) and high mitochondrial activity (ACM-DAB). Moreover, frozen-thawed semen samples were induced to lipid peroxidation for measurement of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration. Higher post-thawing sperm motility (26.50% winter; 13.30% summer) and ACM (22.34% winter; 13.30% summer) were observed during the winter in Nelore group. In Simmental group, no differences were observed for the studied variables. It was concluded that, despite the heat stress, no seasonal effect on sperm quality was observed in Taurus cattle, which may be related to higher concentration of PUFA in seminal composition.
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