Lipidomic markers of sperm cryotolerance in cattle

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Scientific Reports


The objective of the current study was to determine the fatty acid composition of sperm from Holstein bulls with different freezability (Good and Poor; n = 12). Fatty acids were extracted from frozen sperm in 1:2 (v/v) chloroform–methanol solvent, fractionated into neutral and polar fractions, and composition determined by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Thirty-four fatty acids were quantified and their concentrations and percentages within each lipid fraction were calculated. Overall, saturated fatty acids (SFA) were predominant, accounting for 71 to 80% of fatty acids in neutral and polar lipid factions. There were marked differences in fatty acid composition between the lipid fractions (P < 0.001). The branched chain fatty acid (BCFA) concentration (15 to 18 µg) was almost twice as much as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) concentration found in the polar lipid fraction (8 to 9 µg; P < 0.001). Sperm with different freezability phenotypes only had a few differences in 22:0, 18:1 cis 9, and 14:0 13-methyl fatty acids (P ≤ 0.011). These results are significant because they reveal key understandings of fatty acid composition of sperm membrane and lay a foundation for the manipulation of membrane integrity, fluidity, and stability to advance the assisted reproductive technologies.



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