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Argov-Argaman N.,The Hebrew University | Mahgrefthe K.,The Hebrew University | Zeron Y.,Sion Artificial Insemination Center | Roth Z.,The Hebrew University
Theriogenology | Year: 2013

Semen lipid composition was examined in young and mature bulls. Given the specific roles of various semen compartments (i.e., seminal fluid, sperm head, and sperm tail) during fertilization, we hypothesized that altered fatty acid and cholesterol composition of a specific compartment might impair semen quality and sperm function. Semen samples were collected from five mature and five young Holstein Friesian bulls during the winter (December-January). Semen was evaluated by computerized sperm-quality analyzer for bulls and was centrifuged to separate the sperm from the seminal fluid. The sperm fraction was sonicated to separate its head and tail compartments. Cold extraction of lipids was performed, and fatty acids and cholesterol were identified and quantified by gas chromatography. Semen physiological features (concentration, motility, and progressive motility) did not differ between mature and young bulls. However, lipid composition within fractions varied between groups, with prominent impairments in the head compartment. In particular, the proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and docosahexaenoic acid in the intact sperm; seminal fluid; and sperm head were lower in semen collected from mature bulls than in that from young bulls. The finding suggests an age-differential absorption and/or metabolism through spermatogenesis. Reduced proportions of major fatty acids in mature bulls might reduce membrane fluidity, which in turn might affect the ability to undergo cryopreservation and/or oocyte-sperm fusion through fertilization. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Argov-Argaman N.,Hebrew University | Mahgrefthe K.,Hebrew University | Zeron Y.,Sion Artificial Insemination Center | Roth Z.,Hebrew University
Reproduction | Year: 2013

Season-induced variation in fatty acid and cholesterol composition in bovine semen has been associated with semen quality. Given the specific roles of the various semen compartments (seminal fluids, sperm head, and sperm tail) in fertilization, we hypothesized that environmental-stress-induced alterations in the lipid composition of a specific compartment might impair semen quality and sperm function. Semen samples were collected from five mature Holstein-Friesian bulls during the summer (August to September) and winter (December to January). Semen was evaluated by computerized sperm-quality analyzer, calibrated for bulls' semen, and centrifuged to separate the spermatozoa from the seminal fluids. The spermatozoal fraction was sonicated to separate the sperm head and tail compartments. Cold lipid extraction was performed with chloroform: methanol (2:1, vol/vol). Lipids were identified and quantified by gas chromatography. Seasonal variation was found in both physiological and structural parameters. The proportion of spermatozoa defined as morphologically normal was higher in the winter, with higher motility, progressive motility, and velocity relative to summer samples. Lipid composition within fractions varied between seasons with prominent impairment in the tail compartment, characterized by high saturated fatty acid, low polyunsaturated fatty acid, and low cholesterol concentrations during the summer. Given the association between alterations in lipid composition and reduced sperm motility and velocity during the summer, it is suggested that lipid composition might serve to predict sperm quality. © 2013 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.


Li Y.,South China Agricultural University | Kalo D.,The Hebrew University | Zeron Y.,Sion Artificial Insemination Center | Roth Z.,The Hebrew University
Zygote | Year: 2014

We examined the association between progressive motility of spermatozoa and in vitro fertilization (IVF) competence of bovine ejaculates. Fresh semen was evaluated using a computerized sperm quality analyzer for bulls using progressive motility as the primary parameter. Ejaculates with high progressive motility (HPM; >81%) were compared with those with low progressive motility (LPM; <62%). Semen concentration and sperm velocity were lower (P < 0.05) in HPM versus LPM ejaculates. Volume and motile sperm concentration did not differ between groups (P > 0.05). Examination of sperm morphology revealed a higher proportion of spermatozoa with abnormal morphology (P < 0.01) in LPM versus HPM ejaculates, the predominant abnormal feature being a bent tail (P < 0.05). Sperm viability, acrosome integrity and DNA fragmentation did not differ between HPM and LPM samples. Mitochondrial membrane potential was higher (P < 0.01) in HPM versus LPM semen. Zinc concentrations in the seminal plasma correlated with progressive motility (R2 = 0.463, P = 0.03). In addition, representative ejaculates from HPM and LPM groups were cryopreserved in straws and used for IVF. The proportions of embryos cleaved to 2- and 4-cell stages (88.1 ± 1.1 versus 80.5 ± 1.7, P = 0.001) and developed to blastocysts (33.5 ± 1.6 versus 23.5 ± 2.2, P = 0.026) were higher for HPM than LPM semen. The total cell number of embryos and blastocyst apoptotic index did not differ between groups. Although sperm progressive motility is associated with IVF competence, further examination is required to determine whether progressive motility can serve as a predictor of semen fertilization capacity in vivo. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014

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