Effect of feeding a DHA-enriched nutriceutical on the quality of fresh, cooled and frozen stallion semen.
ABSTRACT Eight stallions were used in 2 x 2 crossover study to determine if feeding a nutriceutical rich in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) would improve semen quality. Stallions were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups (n = 4 per group). Stallions were fed their normal diet (control) or their normal diet top-dressed with 250 g of a DHA-enriched nutriceutical. Feeding trials lasted for 14 week, after which a 14-week washout period was allowed and the treatment groups were reversed for another 14 week feeding trial. Feeding the nutriceutical resulted in a three-fold increase in semen DHA levels and 50% increase in the ratio of DHA to DPA in semen. Sperm motion characteristics in fresh semen were unaffected by treatment. After 24 h of cooled semen storage in an Equitainer, total and progressive motility did not differ between treatment groups, but sperm from stallions fed the nutriceutical exhibited higher velocity and straighter projectory (P < 0.05). After 48 h of cooled storage, increases in the percentages of sperm exhibiting total motility (P = 0.07), progressive motility (P = 0.06) and rapid motility (P = 0.04), were observed when stallions were being fed the nutriceutical. For a subset of four stallions, whose progressive sperm motility was <40% after 24 h of cooled storage when fed the control diet, feeding the nutriceutical resulted in improvements in mean progressive motility of sperm after 24 h (P = 0.10) and 48 h (P = 0.03) of storage. Feeding the nutriceutical resulted in similar improvements in motion characteristics being observed in frozen-thawed semen. While it appears that feeding the nutriceutical may improve the motion characteristics of cool-stored stallion semen, it may be most beneficial for stallions of marginal fertility whose sperm do not tolerate the rigors of cooling and storage. The nutriceutical also appeared to improve the freezability of semen. More dramatic improvements in semen quality may be observed if modifications in the main fat content of the diet are incorporated with the DHA supplement.
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ABSTRACT: Sixteen fertile rams were randomly allotted to four groups and fed either of the four diets for 14 weeks: (1) control diet (COD) without fish oil (FO) and vitamin C (VC), (2) diet containing 2.5% FO (FOD), (3) diet containing 300mg/kg DM VC (VCD), and (4) diet containing 2.5% FO and 300mg/kg DM VC (FCD). Semen was collected at 14-d intervals from 1 April to 10 July (out of the physiologic breeding season in Iran). Semen volume and percentages of motile and progressively motile sperm were increased by FO and VC feeding. A significant interaction was also found between FOD and VCD on motility and progressive motility percentage (P<0.05). HOS-test and percentage of sperm with normal acrosome improved significantly by FO and VC. Rams fed FCD had better HOS-test and higher proportion of sperm with normal acrosome than rams in other groups (82.4 and 93.6%, respectively). Diets containing FO and FO and VC increased the proportion of docosahexaenoic acid in sperm (P<0.05). The activity of lactate dehydrogenase in the seminal fluid was significantly affected by VC and the interaction between FO and VC (P<0.05). Blood metabolites, except glucose, were affected positively by FO. The results showed that dietary supplementation with FO and VC improved seminal quality and may have beneficial effects on fertility in Moghani rams.Animal reproduction science 04/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.anireprosci.2014.03.013 · 1.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Seasonal changes in the reproductive physiology of stallions contribute to a decrease in the quality of frozen-thawed semen during late winter. Changes in the lipid composition of the sperm plasma membrane may contribute to this phenomenon. In the present study, we have, therefore, investigated the effects of adding linseed oil (LO) in combination with antioxidants to the diet of breeding stallions on the motility and membrane integrity of cooled-stored and cryopreserved semen. Starting in November, the diet of LO stallions (n = 6) but not control (C) stallions (n = 5) was supplemented with LO (100 mL once daily) plus an antioxidant (Myostem Protect; Audevard, Clichy, France) for a total of 84 days. Before (November) and at the end of this period (February), ejaculates were processed for cryopreservation (n = 3 ejaculates per stallion) and cooled shipping at 5 °C. Frozen-thawed and cooled-shipped semen was sent to the laboratory for computer-assisted semen analysis of total motility, progressive motility, and velocity parameters (average path velocity [VAP], curved line velocity [VCL], and straight-line velocity [VSL]) and evaluation of membrane integrity. The quality of frozen-thawed semen decreased (P < 0.05) from November (e.g., total motility LO 69 ± 3% and C 67 ± 3%) to February (total motility: LO 55 ± 4% and C 59 ± 3%) independent of treatment (P > 0.05). A decrease in the velocity parameters VAP, VCL, and VSL was more pronounced in LO stallions than in C stallions (e.g., VSL: November LO 67 ± 1 μm/s, C 64 ± 2 μm/s; February LO 59 ± 2 μm/s, C 63 ± 2 μm/s; interaction month by treatment, P < 0.05). In cooled-stored semen, total motility, progressive motility, and membrane integrity were lower in February than in November (P < 0.001 for all parameters). Supplementation of the diet with LO and antioxidants attenuated this decrease (e.g., Day 1 of cooled storage = 24 hours after semen collection: total motility in November LO 88 ± 1% and C 87 ± 3%; in February LO 83 ± 2% and C 73 ± 11%; interaction month by treatment: P < 0.05). Velocity parameters VAP, VCL, and VSL were significantly lower in February than in November (P < 0.001), but this decrease was not affected by treatment. In summary, dietary supplementation of stallions with LO plus antioxidants attenuated a decline in motility and membrane integrity of cooled-stored stallion semen during winter. This may improve the fertility of cooled-shipped semen. In contrast, the treatment did not counteract the decrease in quality of frozen-thawed semen that occurs in late winter.Theriogenology 01/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2014.01.021 · 1.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Studies in laboratory rodents are shedding light on the pathophysiology of testicular ageing and now suggest a complicated basis for age-related declines in testicular function. A highly significant contributor to infertility may involve failure of specific and complex testicular microenvironments (niches) comprised of a variety of cellular and molecular components. Our laboratory has applied testis tissue xenografting to the study of testicular ageing in the stallion. Using this technique, we have confirmed that the disease is tissue autologous. As would be expected from a tissue autologous disease, hormonal and non-hormonal therapies designed to drive the function of the diseased testis are ineffective. However, we have some evidence that contact with young, normal testicular tissue may improve the condition of aged, degenerate testes. Perhaps, paracrine factors from young testicular cells may partially restore a young microenvironment and allow for the maintenance of testicular function. These findings form the basis for future studies designed to determine whether cells, genes or proteins from a normal testis can aid the function of a degenerate testis.Reproduction in Domestic Animals 08/2012; 47 Suppl 4:178-86. DOI:10.1111/j.1439-0531.2012.02073.x · 1.18 Impact Factor