[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study attempted to clarify the role of total antioxidant capacity of seminal plasma (SP-TAC) on boar sperm survival and fertility after artificial insemination (AI). SP-TAC differed (P < 0.001) among boars (n° = 15) and, to a lesser degree, among ejaculates within male (4 ejaculates/boar). SP-TAC also differed (P < 0.001) among ejaculate fractions (43 ejaculates and 3 fractions per ejaculate), of which the sperm-peak portion of the sperm rich ejaculate fraction (SRF) had the highest SP-TAC. SP-TAC was not correlated with sperm quality (motility and viability) or functionality (intracellular ROS generation and lipid peroxidation) of liquid AI-semen samples stored at 17 °C for 72 h (90 AI-samples), but the decline in sperm quality was larger (P < 0.05) in ejaculates with low, compared with high SP-TAC (hierarchically grouped). The SP-TAC differences among ejaculate portions agree with sperm cryosurvival rates (14 ejaculates from 7 boars), showing sperm from sperm-peak portion better (P < 0.01) post-thaw quality and functionality than those from the entire ejaculate (mainly post-SRF). Boars (n° = 18) with high SP-TAC (hierarchically grouped) had higher (P < 0.05) fertility outcomes (5,546 AI-sows) than those with low SP-TAC. Measurement of SP-TAC ought to be a discriminative tool to prognosis fertility in breeding boars.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the development of the non-surgical deep uterine (NsDU) embryo transfer (ET) technology, the commercial applicability of ET in pigs is now possible. There are, nevertheless, many factors that influence NsDU-ET effectiveness that need to be addressed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the weaned recipients' parity on fertility and prolificacy following NsDU-ET. The recipients (n = 120) were selected based on their reproductive history and body condition and grouped into three categories according to their parity: primiparous sows, sows of parity 2 and sows of parities from 3 to 5. Thirty fresh embryos (morulae and unhatched blastocysts) were non-surgically transferred into one uterine horn of each recipient. It was possible to insert the NsDU-ET catheter through the cervix along a uterine horn in 98.3% of the recipients. The parity had no influence on the difficulty grade of the insertions or on the percentage of correct insertions. The cervix and uterine wall were not perforated during the insertions, and vaginal discharge was not observed after transfer in any of the recipients. There were no differences in the pregnancy rates (74.8%), farrowing rates (71.2%) or litter sizes (9.6 ± 3.3) between groups. Also, there were no differences between groups regarding to the piglets' birthweights or piglet production efficiency. In conclusion, these results demonstrate that weaned sows from parity 1 to 5 are appropriate to be used as recipients in NsDU-ET programs, which increase the possibilities for the utilization of ET in the recipient farms.
No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Reproduction in Domestic Animals
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AI is commercially applied worldwide to breed pigs, yielding fertility outcomes similar to those of natural mating. However, it is not fully efficient, as only liquid-stored semen is used, with a single boar inseminating about 2000 sows yearly. The use of liquid semen, moreover, constrains international trade and slows genetic improvement. Research efforts, reviewed hereby, are underway to reverse this inefficient scenario. Special attention is paid to studies intended to decrease the number of sperm used per pregnant sow, facilitating the practical use of sexed frozen-thawed semen in swine commercial insemination programs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Keywords:
seminal plasma peptides
The boar, as human, sequentially ejaculates sperm-rich and sperm-poor fractions. Seminal plasma (SP) spermadhesins (PSP-I/PSP-II) induce a primary endometrial inflammatory response in female sows, similar to that elicited by semen deposition in other species, including human. However, the SP is also known to mitigate such response, making it transient to allow for embryo entry to a cleansed endometrium. Although cytokine involvement has been claimed, the exploration of cytokines in different SP fractions is scarce. This study determines Th1, Th2, Th17 and Th3 cytokine profiles in specific ejaculate SP fractions from boars of proven fertility.
SP samples from the sperm-rich fraction (SRF) and the sperm-poor post-SRF fraction (post-SRF) of manually collected ejaculates from eight boars (four ejaculates per boar) were analysed by commercial multiplex bead assay kits (Milliplex MAP, Millipore, USA) for interferon-γ, interferon gamma-induced protein 10, macrophage-derived chemokine, growth-regulated oncogene, granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor, monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1, interleukins (IL)-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-15, IL-17 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1-β3.
Cytokine concentrations differed between the ejaculate fractions among boars, being highest in the post-SRF.
Boar SP is rich in Th1, Th2, Th17 and Th3 cytokines, with lowest concentrations in the sperm-peak-containing fraction, indicating its main immune influence might reside in the larger, protein-rich sperm-poor post-SRF.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · American Journal Of Reproductive Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surgical procedures are prevalent in porcine embryo transfer (ET) programs, where the use of vitrified embryos is quasi non-existent. This study compared the effectiveness of surgical vs nonsurgical deep uterine (NsDU) ET using vitrified, in vivo-derived embryos (morulae and blastocysts) on the reproductive performance and welfare of the recipients. The recipient sows (n = 122) were randomly assigned to one of the following groups: surgical ET with 30 vitrified-warmed embryos (S-30 group, control); NsDU-ET with 30 vitrified-warmed embryos (NsDU-30 group) and NsDU-ET with 40 vitrified-warmed embryos (NsDU-40 group). Regardless of embryo stage, the NsDU-ET with 40 embryos presented similar rates of farrowing (72.7%) and litter size (9.9 ± 2.1 piglets) as the customary surgical procedure (75.0% and 9.6 ± 2.7 piglets). Numbers of ET-embryos appeared relevant, since the NsDU-ET with 30 embryos resulted in a decrease (P < 0.05) in farrowing rates (38.9%) and litter sizes (5.7 ± 2.4 piglets). In conclusion, we demonstrate for the first time that farrowing rate and litter size following a NsDU-ET procedure increase in function of a larger number of transferred vitrified embryos, with fertility equalizing that obtained with the invasive surgical approach. The results open new possibilities for the widespread use of non-invasive ET in pigs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Paraoxonase 1 (PON-1) is a hydrolytic enzyme present in body fluids, capable of protecting cells against oxidative stress. The hypothesis was hereby to test that PON-1, present in seminal plasma (SP), acts protecting boar spermatozoa when showing a reasonable high activity in the ejaculate. SP-PON-1 activity differed (p < 0.001) among boars (from 0.10 to 0.29 IU/mL). Intra-boar variability was also observed (p < 0.05), but only in two of the 15 boars. SP-PON-1 activity differed among ejaculate portions, showing the spermatozoa-peak portion of spermatozoa-rich ejaculate fraction the highest levels (0.35 ± 0.03 IU/mL, ranging from 0.12 to 0.69) and the post-sperm ejaculate fraction the lowest levels (0.12 ± 0.01 IU/mL, ranging from 0.03 to 0.21). SP-PON-1 activity was positively correlated with the percentage of spermatozoa with rapid and progressive movement (p < 0.01) and negatively correlated with the generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (p < 0.01) in semen samples after 72 h of liquid storage. SP-PON-1 activity was highest (p < 0.01) in boars with highest farrowing rates. In conclusion, SP-PON-1 activity differed among boars and ejaculate fractions/portions. SP-PON-1 activity was positively correlated with sperm quality and functionality of liquid-stored semen samples and it evidenced a positive association with in vivo fertility.