Antioxidant therapy improves sperm DNA integrity in boars during summer

Peña, Santiago, Gummow, Bruce, Parker, Anthony, and Paris, Damien (2016) Antioxidant therapy improves sperm DNA integrity in boars during summer. In: Abstracts from Townsville Health Research Week 2016. p. 29. From: Townsville Health Research Week 2016, 12-15 September 2016, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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Background: Summer infertility due to heat stress significantly affects the reproductive potential of pigs causing over $300 million per year in lost productivity to the US pig industry and billions worldwide. The boar's inefficient capacity to sweat; non-pendulous scrotum, and the high susceptibility of boar sperm to temperature shock appears to correlate with higher sperm DNA damage during summer. Heat stress-induced sperm DNA damage can result in early embryo loss, as demonstrated in mice. This study investigated whether supplementing boars with antioxidants during summer could improve boar sperm DNA integrity.

Method: Motility of sperm obtained from n=5 Large White boars housed in the dry tropics of Townsville, Queensland, Australia were analysed using Computer-Assisted Sperm Analysis. Sperm DNA integrity during summer was compared without or after 42 and 84 days antioxidant supplementation, by Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP Nick-End Labelling and flow cytometry. Paired T-tests were used to determine significant differences between treatments (P ≤ 0.05).

Results and Discussion: Total and progressive motility of sperm did not differ between treatments (P ≥ 0.05). However, antioxidant supplementation of boars during summer resulted in a 38% and 55% reduction of DNA-damaged spermatozoa after 42 and 84 days treatment respectively (16.1 ± 4.8% untreated vs 9.9 ± 4.5% vs 7.2 ± 1.6%; P ≤ 0.05).

Conclusions: Supplementing boars with antioxidants during summer improves boar sperm DNA integrity which could potentially mitigate the negative impact of heat stress on male fertility. Such improvements may also increase downstream fertilisation rates and early embryo survival in the sow.

Item ID: 48354
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Keywords: boar; pig; summer infertility; sperm; DNA damage; heat stress; antioxidants
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Funders: AusAID, James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: Australian Awards Scholarship, JCU Development Grant
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2017 04:05
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0702 Animal Production > 070206 Animal Reproduction @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060103 Cell Development, Proliferation and Death @ 30%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0606 Physiology > 060602 Animal Physiology - Cell @ 20%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8303 Livestock Raising > 830308 Pigs @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies @ 25%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences @ 25%
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