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Volume 19, Issue 2 (March 2017) 19, 223–229; DOI:10.4103/1008-682X.170446

Dietary n-6:n-3 ratio and Vitamin E improve motility characteristics in association with membrane properties of boar spermatozoa

Qing Liu, Yuan-Fei Zhou, Run-Jia Duan, Hong-Kui Wei, Jian Peng, Si-Wen Jiang

1Department of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P. R. China; 2The
Cooperative Innovation Center for Sustainable Pig Production, Wuhan 430070, P. R. China; 3Key Laboratory of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction
of Ministry of Education and Key Laboratory of Swine Genetics and Breeding of Ministry of Agriculture, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, P. R. China.

Correspondence: Prof. J Peng (pengjian@mail.hzau.edu.cn), Prof. SW Jiang (jiangsiwen@mail.hzau.edu.cn)

Date of Submission 05-Apr-2015 Date of Decision 21-Jul-2015 Date of Acceptance 05-Nov-2015 Date of Web Publication 12-Jan-2016


This study was aimed to evaluate the effects of dietary n‑6:n‑3 ratio and Vitamin E on the membrane properties and motility
characteristics of spermatozoa in boars. Forty Duroc boars were randomly distributed in a 2 × 2 factorial design with two n‑6:n‑3
ratios (14.4 and 6.6) and two Vitamin E levels (200 and 400 mg kg−1). During 16 weeks of treatment, fresh semen was collected at
weeks 0, 8, 12, and 16 for measurements of motility characteristics, contents of fatty acids, membrane properties (membrane fluidity
and membrane integrity), and lipid peroxidation of the spermatozoa. The semen was diluted in Beltsville Thawing Solution (BTS)
extender and stored at 17°C, and the sperm motility was assessed at 12, 36, 72, and 120 h of storage. The 6.6 n‑6:n‑3 dietary ratio
increased the contents of n‑3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and improved the membrane
integrity and membrane fluidity of the spermatozoa, resulting in notably increased total motility, sperm progressive motility, and
velocity parameters of fresh semen. Feeding diet with Vitamin E (400 mg kg−1) prevented sperm lipid peroxidation, and resulted
in higher total motility and sperm progressive motility in fresh and liquid stored semen. In conclusion, the adjustment of n‑6:n‑3
ratio (6.6) and supply of Vitamin E (400 mg kg−1) successfully improved sperm motility characteristics and thus may be beneficial
to the fertility of boars, which might be due to the modification of the physical and functional properties of spermatozoa membrane
in response to dietary supplementation

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