Relationships among lipid peroxidation, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, sperm parameters, and competitive index in dairy bulls

R. Kasimanickam, V. Kasimanickam, C. D. Thatcher, R. L. Nebel, B. G. Cassell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Sperm membranes contain high concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are highly susceptible to oxidative damage that interferes with fertilization ability. The objective of this study was to determine associations among lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric-acid-reactive substance concentration), antioxidant enzymatic activities in frozen spermatozoa, and competitive indices. Semen from multiple ejaculates collected in succession from each bull (four Holstein and four Jersey) was pooled. Heterospermic doses (20 × 106 sperm/0.5 mL straw) were made to obtain 16 Holstein/Jersey combinations (equal number of sperm from each bull). Cows were inseminated on observed or synchronized estrus. The sire of calves (N = 460) was determined; based on the number of calves sired, a competitive index was obtained for each bull. Prior to preparation of the heterospermic doses, a sub-sample of semen from each bull was taken, processed, frozen, and stored concurrent with heterospermic samples. After thawing, these homospermic samples were assessed for lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, DNA fragmentation index (DFI), plasma membrane integrity (PMI), and total progressive motility (assessed by CASA). Sperm lipid peroxidation and the competitive index were negatively correlated (r = -0.78; P < 0.05), the DFI and sperm lipid peroxidation were positively correlated (r = 0.86; P < 0.001), and there were negative correlations (P < 0.05) for sperm lipid peroxidation and both PMI and total progressive motility (r = -0.78 and -0.83, respectively). There was neither significant association between SOD activity and competitive index, nor between GPx activity and competitive index. In conclusion, bulls with lower sperm lipid peroxidation had higher chances of siring calves; this was attributed to the deleterious effects of lipid peroxidation on sperm plasma membrane integrity and sperm DNA, which may reduce sperm fertilizing potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1004-1012
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 15 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant enzyme
  • Competitive index
  • Heterospermic insemination
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Sire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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