Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Sperm quality, and morphology and apoptosis of germinal epithelium cells of ram lambs receiving water of different salinities

T. L. B. G. Lins A , V. G. Menezes A , R. S. Barberino A , S. A. P. Costa B , N. M. S. S. Santos B , T. V. C. Nascimento C , M. A. A. Queiroz B , M. F. Cordeiro D , L. B. Ribeiro E , G. G. L. Araujo F and M. H. T. Matos A G
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Nucleus of Biotechnology Applied to Ovarian Follicle Development, Federal University of São Francisco Valley, Petrolina, PE, 56300-000, Brazil.

B Laboratory of Bromatology and Animal Nutrition, Federal University of São Francisco Valley, Petrolina, PE, 56300-000, Brazil.

C Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, BA, 40170-110, Brazil.

D Laboratory of Animal Reproductive Physiology and Biotechnology, Federal University of São Francisco Valley, Petrolina, PE, 56300-000, Brazil.

E Laboratory of Animal Physiology, Federal University of São Francisco Valley, Petrolina, PE, 56300-000, Brazil.

F Embrapa Semiarid, Petrolina, PE, 56302-970, Brazil.

G Corresponding author. Email: helena.matos@univasf.edu.br

Animal Production Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN16801
Submitted: 8 December 2016  Accepted: 20 March 2017   Published online: 24 May 2017

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the influence of water salinity on semen quality, and on the morphology and apoptosis of germinal epithelial cells in prepubertal Morada Nova male lambs. Thirty-two lambs were allocated into four treatments with different amounts of sodium chloride (NaCl) added to the drinking water to simulate different water salinities; consequently, the concentrations of total dissolved solids (TDS) were as follows: 640 (control), 3188; 5740 and 8326 mg/L TDS. After 78 days, sperm was collected for analysis. The animals were slaughtered and histological and morphometric analyses and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) assay were performed on the testis tissue. The thickness of the germinal epithelium and diameter of the seminiferous tubules were measured. A quadratic effect (P < 0.05) was observed in regard to semen volume and sperm abnormalities. There was an increase in the sperm count in the treatment containing 3188 mg/L TDS, compared with the control (640 mg/L TDS); however, this treatment did not differ (P > 0.05) from the other salinity treatments. Moreover, treatments with 3188 mg/L or 5740 mg/L TDS showed a higher (P < 0.05) spermatic vigour than did the other treatments. There was an increase (P < 0.05) in the number of TUNEL-positive cells in the treatment with the highest salinity (8326 mg/L TDS) compared with the control and other treatments. In conclusion, water used for drinking should contain between 3188 and 5740 mg/mL TDS so as to improve the concentration, vigour, motility and volume of semen, and to decrease sperm abnormalities in germinal cells of seminiferous tubule of Morada Nova ram lambs.

Additional keywords: NaCl, osmolarity, ovine, spermatozoa, TUNEL, viability.


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