Author(s): Pesch S, Bergmann M, Bostedt H
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Abstract Seminal plasma is very important for sperm metabolism as well as sperm function and survival and transport in the female genital tract. Analysis of enzyme activities and concentrations of elements can estimate integrity and function of sperm cell membranes. In man much data are available about biochemical analyses of seminal plasma. However, not many studies have been conducted in horses yet. We collected ejaculates from 72 stallions, measured the volume, obtained seminal plasma by centrifugation and examined spermatozoa with light microscopy for motility, concentration, for dead sperm and morphology. Of seminal plasma fluid, we measured activities of aspartate-amino-transferase (AST), gamma-glutamyl-transferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (AlP), acid phosphatase (AcP) and lactate-dehydrogenase (LDH) as well as concentrations of sodium (Na(+)), potassium (K(+)), total and ionised calcium (Ca(TOTAL)/Ca(2+)), magnesium (Mg(2+)), phosphate (P), chloride (Cl), copper (Cu), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn). In addition, correlations among different parameters in light microscopy and seminal plasma were statistically examined by using the Spearman rank correlation coefficient. Median enzyme activities for AST, GGT, AlP, AcP and LDH were 80.0, 7,500, 30,200, 20.0, 81.0 IU/L, respectively. Concentrations of Na(+), K(+), Ca(TOTAL), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), P, Cl were 110.5, 22.1, 2.9, 1.7, 3.1, 1.1 and 114.5 mmol/L, and of microelements Cu, Fe and Zn were 17.8, 1.9 and 13.2 micromol/L, respectively. Furthermore, we found significant correlations between semen volume as well as sperm concentration and AST, GGT, AlP, AcP and LDH as well as Fe and Zn. This made us propose a primary testicular and epididymal origin of these parameters. Significant correlation between GGT and motility may be a sign for its function for cell protection against free radicals. LDH activity significantly correlates with motility and progressive motility, live:dead-ratio and pathomorphology. In our study, LDH seems to be the most predictive enzyme for semen quality. This is the first report about GGT, AcP and LDH activities as well as iron in equine seminal plasma.
This article was published in Theriogenology
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development