Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Lower dietary n-6 : n-3 ratio and high-dose vitamin E supplementation improve sperm morphology and oxidative stress in boars

Qing Liu A , Yuanfei Zhou A , Runjia Duan A , Hongkui Wei A , Siwen Jiang B C D and Jian Peng A C D

A Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, 430070, Wuhan, P. R. China.

B Key Lab of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Ministry of Education and Key Lab of Swine Genetics and Breeding of Ministry of Agriculture, Huazhong Agricultural University, 430070, Wuhan, P. R. China.

C The Cooperative Innovation Center for Sustainable Pig Production, Wuhan 430070, P. R. China.

D Corresponding authors. Emails: pengjian@mail.hzau.edu.cn; jiangsiwen@mail.hzau.edu.cn

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29(5) 940-949 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD15424
Submitted: 15 October 2015  Accepted: 14 January 2016   Published: 9 March 2016

Abstract

A 2 × 2 factorial experiment (10 boars per treatment) was conducted for 16 weeks to evaluate the effects of the dietary n-6 : n-3 ratio (14 : 1 vs 6 : 1) and vitamin E (200 vs 400 mg kg–1) on boar sperm morphology and oxidative stress. Sperm mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), reactive oxygen species (ROS), DNA damage (8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine; 8-OHdG), seminal lipoperoxidation (malondialdehyde; MDA) and antioxidant capacity in the serum, spermatozoa and seminal plasma were assessed as indicators of oxidative stress. Sperm production was similar among groups but increased (P < 0.05) throughout the 16 weeks of the study. Although sperm α-tocopherol content, ROS and seminal MDA did not differ between the two dietary n-6 : n-3 ratio treatments, enhanced antioxidant enzyme activity and MMP, but decreased 8-OHdG, were found in spermatozoa from boars consuming the 6 : 1 diet. The diet with the 6 : 1 ratio positively affected sperm morphology at Weeks 12 and 16 (P < 0.05). The α-tocopherol content and antioxidant capacity increased in boars with increasing levels of vitamin E supplementation. Compared with low-dose vitamin E, high-dose vitamin E supplementation improved sperm morphology. Overall, the results indicate that an n-6 : n-3 ratio of 6 : 1 and 400 mg/kg vitamin E have beneficial effects on sperm morphology by improving antioxidative stress.

Additional keywords: antioxidative effect.


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