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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Membrane Lipids of the Stallion Spermatozoon in Relation to Sperm Quality and Susceptibility to Lipid Peroxidation

Macias Garcia, B; Gonzalez Fernández, L; Ortega Ferrusola, C; Salazar-Sandoval, C; Morillo Rodriguez, A; Rodriguez, Heriberto; Tapia, J; Morcuende, D; Pena, F


Lipids were extracted from ejaculated spermatozoa from seven individual stallions to distinguish neutral lipids (NL) and polar lipids (PL) and determine their variation among stallions and their relationship with sperm quality and sperm susceptibility to lipid peroxidation. The isolated fatty acids were correlated with sperm quality (membrane integrity, mitochondrial membrane potential (Delta Psi m) and expression of active caspases) and the sensitivity of the sperm plasma membrane to LPO. The miristic (C14: 0), palmitic (C16: 0), stearic (C18: 0) and oleic (C18: 1n9) acids were predominant among the NLs. Within the phospholipid fraction, the docosapentanoic acid (C22: 5n6) was dominant, albeit varying among stallions. Surprisingly, the percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids was positively correlated with sperm quality and a low propensity for LPO, probably because these particular fatty acids provide a higher fluidity of the plasma membrane. The stallion showing the poorest sperm membrane integrity plus a high level of LPO in his ejaculate had a lower percentage (p < 0.05) of this fatty acid in his sperm plasma membranes.

Published in

Reproduction in Domestic Animals
2011, volume: 46, number: 1, pages: 141-148

Authors' information

Macias Garcia, B
Gonzalez Fernández, L
Ortega Ferrusola, C
Salazar-Sandoval, C
Morillo Rodriguez, A
Rodriguez, Heriberto
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Tapia, J
Morcuende, D
Pena, F

UKÄ Subject classification

Animal and Dairy Science
Veterinary Science

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