Associations of adiponectin and fertility estimates in Holstein bulls.

Kasimanickam, R.K., Kasimanickam, V.R., Kastelic, J.P., and Stevenson, J.S. (2013). "Associations of adiponectin and fertility estimates in Holstein bulls.", Theriogenology, 79(5), pp. 766-777. doi : 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2012.12.001  Access to full text

Abstract

Adiponectin is a pleiotropic regulator of numerous biological functions, including gonadal steroidogenesis and might play a role in sperm structures and functions. The objectives were to: (1) determine associations among serum concentrations of adiponectin, testosterone, and prolactin, and the sperm DNA fragmentation index; (2) associate sperm adiponectin mRNA abundance with estimates of fertility (sire conception rate); and (3) determine sperm protein expression of adiponectin and its receptor in pre- and postcapacitated sperm from Holstein bulls. In experiment 1, biweekly serum concentrations of adiponectin, prolactin, and testosterone were greater (P < 0.05) for high fertility bulls compared with average and low fertility bulls. Furthermore, sperm DNA fragmentation index was greater (P < 0.05) for low fertility compared with both average and high fertility bulls. In experiment 2, samples of sperm from a single collection from commercial Holstein bulls (N = 34) were used to evaluate relative sperm mRNA expression of adiponectin and its receptors, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2, and protein levels of adiponectin and its receptors, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2, in pre- and postcapacitation sperm. The mRNA abundance of adiponectin and its receptors, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2, were greater for high fertility bulls (>2 to ≤4 sire conception rate) compared with average (≥2 to ≤2) and low (>−2 to ≤−4) fertility bulls. Based on the sperm capacitation assay, average fertility bulls had a greater percentage of acrosome-reacted sperm at 5 hours than high and low fertility bulls, whereas high fertility bulls had a greater percentage of acrosome-reacted sperm than low fertility bulls. After capacitation, levels of adiponectin protein were lower in average fertility bulls, AdipoR1 was lower in all fertility groups, and AdipoR2 was lower in average and high fertility bulls. In conclusion, adiponectin and its receptors had vital roles in sperm structural and functional traits and consequently they were associated with fertility. In addition to its role in steroidogenesis and sperm capacitation, adiponectin might be involved in sperm-egg fusion and fertilization.

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