The potential effects and interactions of oxidative stress and trace minerals on fresh and frozen semen in bulls – a review

Authors

Keywords:

trace minerals, reactive oxygen species, oxidative stress, antioxidants, semen quality, cryopreservation

Abstract

Reproduction is one of the most important factors determining successful cattle farming systems. Management practices, such as nutritional supplementation, can influence the reproductive performance of cattle. The objective of this literature review is to determine the potential value of injectable trace mineral administration on fresh and cryopreserved semen quality of bulls. A search of keywords related to the topic was performed on published articles and textbooks. The search was narrowed to the 40 most relevant references.

Several studies have demonstrated a positive association between trace mineral supplementation and bull semen quality. Moderate amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in normal spermatogenesis, but oxidative stress (OS), as experienced with adverse environmental conditions or disease, can contribute to idiopathic male infertility by negatively impacting spermatogenesis. Trace minerals such as selenium, copper, zinc, and manganese have been demonstrated to have antioxidant effects in mammals. Due to the complexity of oral ingested trace mineral bioavailability, injectable trace mineral supplementation prior to physiological periods with known deficiencies or increased requirement can benefit the animal.

The potential benefits of injectable trace mineral supplementation to minimise oxidative damage to spermatogenesis in breeding bulls need further investigation. Positive results from such studies can lead to the implementation of injectable trace mineral supplementation strategies prior to the breeding season to minimise the detrimental effects of OS and can improve semen quality.

Author Biographies

G M Ferreira, University of Pretoria

Morvet, Potchefstroom and Department of Production Animal Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa

C H Annandale, Murdoch University

School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education, Murdoch University, Australia

M P Smuts, University of Pretoria

Department of Production Animal Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa

D E Holm, University of Pretoria

Department of Production Animal Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Published

2022-06-16

Issue

Section

Original Research