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Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Sperm antioxidant defences decrease during epididymal transit from caput to cauda in parallel with increases in epididymal fluid in the goat (Capra hircus)

Mashidur Rana A , Sudhir C. Roy A B and Bannur C. Divyashree A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Molecular Biology Laboratory, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) – National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Hosur Road, Adugodi, Bangalore 560 030, Karnataka, India.

B Corresponding author. Email: scroy67@gmail.com

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29(9) 1708-1719 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD16269
Submitted: 20 September 2015  Accepted: 23 August 2016   Published: 28 September 2016

Abstract

The status of antioxidant defences of both spermatozoa and their associated fluids during epididymal transit from the caput to cauda have not been studied so far in any species. Herein we report for the first time that sperm antioxidant defences, namely Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase (Cu,Zn-SOD) and catalase activity, decrease significantly (P < 0.05) from the caput to cauda during epididymal transit in parallel with increases in Cu,Zn-SOD, total SOD and total glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity in the luminal fluid of the respective segments. However, levels of GPX1 and GPX3 in epididymal fluid did not change significantly from the caput to cauda. Catalase was detected for the first time in goat spermatozoa. A significantly higher total antioxidant capacity of caudal fluid than of the caput suggests a requirement for a rich antioxidant environment for the storage of spermatozoa. The retention of cytoplasmic droplets in most of the caudal spermatozoa confirmed that these droplets do not contribute to the increased antioxidant defences of cauda epididymidal fluid. Thus, the antioxidant defences of the spermatozoa and their associated epididymal fluid are modulated from the caput to cauda in a region-specific manner. This may be one of the compensatory mechanisms of epididymal fluid to scavenge any excess reactive oxygen species produced in the microenvironment of spermatozoa.

Additional keywords: catalase, Cu,Zn-superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, total antioxidant capacity.


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