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Dietary omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) have limited effects on boar semen stored at 17 °C or cryopreserved

Dietary omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils) have limited effects on boar semen stored at 17 °C or cryopreserved

Theriogenology 74(8): 1482-1490

ISSN/ISBN: 0093-691X

PMID: 20708242

DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2010.06.020

To evaluate the influence of dietary supplementation of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) on storage of boar semen, three experiments were conducted: two involved long-term, fresh semen storage (Exp. 1 and Exp. 2), whereas the other involved cryopreservation (Exp. 3). Boars were allocated randomly to three dietary treatments (for 6-7 mo). In addition to a daily allowance of 2.5 kg of a basal diet, they received: 1) 62 g of hydrogenated animal fat (AF); 2) 60 g of menhaden oil (MO), containing 18% docosahexanoic acid (DHA) and 15% eicosapentanoic acid (EPA); or 3) 60 g of tuna oil (TO), containing 33% DHA and 6.5% EPA. In Experiment 1 (n = 26) and Experiment 2 (n = 18), semen was cooled and stored in vitro for several days at 17 °C before assessment, whereas in Experiment 3 (n = 18), viability, motility, acrosomal integrity, susceptibility to peroxidation (LPO), and DNA fragmentation were determined in fresh and frozen-thawed sperm. In Experiment 1, sperm from boars fed TO had better resistance to fresh storage; even after 7 or 9 d of storage at 17 °C, there were more (P = 0.03) motile sperm in boars fed TO (>60%) than in those fed AF or MO. In Experiment 2, fish oil supplementation did not influence any aspect of sperm quality during semen storage (P > 0.10). In Experiment 3, cryopreservation decreased the proportion of motile and viable frozen-thawed sperm as well as acrosomal integrity and increased DNA fragmentation and LPO (P < 0.01) relative to fresh semen, although sperm quality was unaffected by treatments (P > 0.09). In conclusion, although adding fish oil to the diet failed to significantly improve the quality of cryopreserved boar sperm, inconsistent responses of long-term storage of cooled sperm to dietary n-3 PUFA supplementation warrant further investigation.

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