Author(s): Dabrowski K, Ciereszko A
Abstract Share this page
Abstract An animal unable to synthesize ascorbic acid uniquely mimicks human and non-human primates. Therefore, in this study we used the rainbow trout, a teleost fish, as the model animal to study the importance of dietary ascorbic acid on the fertilizing ability of sperm. A high concentration of ascorbic acid in semen plays a key role in maintaining the genetic integrity of sperm cells, by preventing oxidative damage to sperm DNA. This study will show that the concentration of ascorbic acid in seminal plasma reflects the dietary intake of vitamin C. The concentration of ascorbic acid in seminal plasma of fish declined significantly in groups fed either an ascorbate-free diet (from 4.74 +/- 0.9 to 0.16 +/- 0.08 microgram ml-1) or an ascorbate-rich diet (from 37.9 +/- 4.7 to 17.7 +/- 3.2 microgram ml-1) during the spermiation season. The relationship between ascorbate status and fertility was studied in six groups of fish fed graded levels of ascorbic acid, which spermiated over a 150-day-period. Sperm from individual males was used to fertilize several batches of eggs. When the seminal plasma ascorbate concentration decreased to 7.3 microgram ml-1 a significant decrease of fertilization rate and the hatching rate of embryos resulted. This is the first evidence that dietary ascorbate level directly affected sperm quality and influenced male fertility in a scurvy-prone vertebrate.
This article was published in Experientia
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development