Revisiting summer infertility in the pig: could heat stress-induced sperm DNA damage negatively affect early embryo development?

Peña, Santiago T., Gummow, Bruce, Parker, Anthony, and Paris, Damien B.B.P. (2017) Revisiting summer infertility in the pig: could heat stress-induced sperm DNA damage negatively affect early embryo development? Animal Production Science. pp. 1-9. (In Press)

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Abstract

Temperature is a crucial factor in mammalian spermatogenesis. The scrotum, pampiniform plexus, and cremaster and dartos muscles in mammals are specific adaptations to ensure sperm production in a regulated environment 4-6°C below internal body temperature. However, the limited endogenous antioxidant systems inherent in mammalian spermatozoa compounded by the loss of cytosolic repair mechanisms during spermatogenesis, make the DNA in these cells particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage. Boar sperm is likely to be more susceptible to the effects of heat stress and thus oxidative damage due to the relatively high unsaturated fatty acids in the plasma membrane, low antioxidant capacity in boar seminal plasma, and the boar’s non-pendulous scrotum. Heat stress has a significant negative impact on reproductive performance in piggeries, which manifests as summer infertility and results in productivity losses that amount to millions of dollars. This problem is particularly prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions where ambient temperatures rise beyond the animal’s zone of thermal comfort. Based on preliminary studies in the pig and other species, this article discusses whether heat stress could induce sufficient DNA damage in boar sperm to significantly contribute to the high rates of embryo loss and pregnancy failure observed in the sow during summer infertility. Heat stress-induced damage to sperm DNA can lead to disrupted expression of key developmental genes essential for the differentiation of early cell lineages, such as the trophectoderm, and can distort the timely formation of the blastocyst; resulting in a failure of implantation and ultimately pregnancy loss. Confirming such a link would prompt greater emphasis on boar management and strategies to mitigate summer infertility during periods of heat stress.

Item ID: 48348
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: boar; DNA fragmentation; embryo loss; seasonal infertility; spermatozoa; Sus scrofa domestica; temperature
ISSN: 1836-5787
Funders: James Cook University (JCU), Australian Awards Scholarship
Projects and Grants: JCU Development Grant
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2017 04:54
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060103 Cell Development, Proliferation and Death @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060403 Developmental Genetics (incl Sex Determination) @ 20%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0702 Animal Production > 070206 Animal Reproduction @ 50%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830308 Pigs @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences @ 25%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960310 Global Effects of Climate Change and Variability (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) @ 25%
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