Author(s): Goran Jakovljević, Miodrag Lazarević, Milorad Mirilović, Aleksandar Milovanović, Jelena Apić, Dragan Šefer, Svetlana Nedić, Slobodanka Vakanjac
Keywords:cadmium, CASA, cryopreserved bull semen, lead, mercury, zinc
This study aimed to assess the influence of different concentrations of zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd) found in the feed and water provided to bulls on the concentrations of these metals in cryopreserved bull semen, and to determine their influence onto semen quality parameters. Correlations between heavy metal concentrations in the semen and the quality parameters of semen as estimated by computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) and flow cytometry (FC) methods were determined. A total of 40 cryopreserved semen samples originating from bulls housed in 4 different centers for artificial insemination (A, B, C and D) were examined, making a total of 160 samples. The concentrations of metals and semen quality parameters were determined in cryopreserved semen of 10 bulls from each center, namely 4 samples from each bull. Concentrations of Zn, Pb, Hg and Cd in hay and concentrated feed were within the allowed limits as proposed by the National Research Council (NRC, 2000). A strong negative correlation was detected between curvilinear velocity (VCL) and Zn concentrations in the semen (P < 0.01; r = -0.772) in group D, and a positive correlation of VCL with Pb concentrations (P < 0.05 and r = 0.718) in group B. Mercury concentrations in cryopreserved semen correlated negatively to the percent of live sperm cells with intact acrosomes (V/IA: P < 0.05; r = -0.640) and positively with the percent of dead sperm cells with damaged acrosomes (D/DA: P < 0.01; r = 0.766) in group D. This finding confirms the hypothesis that Hg, even at low concentrations, may cause acrosome damage.
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