Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 29, Issue 10, pp 1051–1056 | Cite as

Effect of n-3 fatty acids and α-tocopherol on post-thaw parameters and fatty acid composition of bovine sperm

  • A. TowhidiEmail author
  • J. E. Parks
Gamete Biology



This study was designed to determine the combined effects of adding source of n-3 fatty acids (FA) and α-tocopherol (vitamin E, VE) to semen extender on freezability and FA composition of Brown Swiss bull sperm.


Semen samples were collected from 6 Brown Swiss bulls and pooled. In the first trial, semen was divided into 12 groups including 4 levels of n-3 FA (0, 1, 10, 100 ng ml−1) and 3 levels of VE (0. 0.2, 0.4 mM). Motility, viability and fatty acid composition of sperm were measured.


The treatment of 10 ng ml−1 n-3 FA and 0.4 mM VE had the best post-thaw sperm characteristics (P < 0.01). In the second trial, sperm lipid composition of this treatment and control (without FA and VE) was determined. Supplementing n-3 fatty acids during cryopreservation increased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the ratio of n-3 to n-6 FA in sperm before freezing and after thawing.


The results suggest that combining the optimal level of n-3 FA (10 ng ml−1) with the highest level of VE tested (0.4 mM) in a semen extender changed the membrane lipid composition and improved freezablity of Brown Swiss bull sperm.


Bull Semen n-3 fatty acid Vitamin E Cryopreservation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural Science and EngineeringUniversity of TehranKarajIran
  2. 2.Department of Animal ScienceCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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