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Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 801–814 | Cite as

Effects of PUFAs on animal reproduction: male and female performances and endocrine mechanisms

  • Margherita Maranesi
  • Cesare Castellini
  • Cecilia Dall’Aglio
  • Linda Petrucci
  • Simona Mattioli
  • Cristiano Boiti
  • Massimo Zerani
Article
  • 70 Downloads

Abstract

Adequate fat diet supplementation shows variable positive effects in farm animal breeding. Omega-3 and n-6 PUFAs are able to modulate several reproductive effectors: the luteolytic PGF2α, the luteotropic PGE2, the nuclear receptor PPARG, and steroids such as E2 and P4. PUFA supplementation favours fertility, onset of estrus, embryo survival, and also parturition by reducing preterm labour risk. These effects are likely mediated by the balance modulation of PGF2α and PGE2 productions, the syntheses of E2 and P4, and the activation of PPARG. As regards to male fertility, the effects of n-3 or n-6 PUFA supplementation at high concentrations in the diet are relatively unknown. PUFAs confer to the spermatozoa plasma membrane the fluidity it needs to achieve fertilization and seem to stimulate the Leydig cell production of testosterone through the regulation of the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, a transport protein that regulates cholesterol transfer within the mitochondria, which is the rate-limiting step in the production of steroid hormones. As regards to female fertility, PUFA supplementation mediates a broad range of actions in reproductive processes involving pregnancy establishment, uterine endocrinology, and preterm birth. The perfectly composed follicular environment shapes oocyte quality and thus female fertility. Since both oocytes and embryos are vulnerable to microenvironment changes, nutritional alterations and FA unavailability can lead to their defects. The aim of the present review is to examine the effects of n-3 and n-6 PUFAs on male and female reproductive performances and the correlated endocrine mechanisms.

Keywords

Fatty acids PPARs Prostaglandins Reproduction Steroids 

Abbreviations

3beta-HSD

3-Beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase

15d-PGJ2

15-Deoxy delta12,14 prostaglandin J2

AA

Arachidonic acid

ALA

Alpha linolenic acid

BCL2

B-cell lymphoma 2

CL

Corpora lutea

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid

DPA

Docosapentaenoic acid

E2

Estradiol

EPA

Eicosapentaenoic acid

FA

Fatty acid

FADS

Fatty acids desaturase

FO

Fish oil

GLA

Gamma-linolenic acid

HODE

Hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid

IBD

Inflammatory bowel disease

IL

Interleukin

LA

Linoleic acid

LCFA

Long-chain fatty acids

LC-PUFA

Long chain PUFA

LPS

Lipopolysaccharides

n-3

Omega-3

n-6

Omega-6

NF

Nuclear factor

P4

Progesterone

PG

Prostaglandin

PGE2-9-K

Prostaglandin E2-9-ketoreductase

PMSG

Pregnant mare serum gonadotropin

PPAR

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor

PTGES

Prostaglandin E synthase

PTGS

Prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase

PUFA

Polyunsaturated fatty acid

ROS

Reactive oxygen species

SDG

Secoisolariciresinol diglycoside

StAR

Steroidogenic acute regulatory protein

TNF

Tumor necrosis factor

TP53

Tumor protein 53

VA

Vaccenic acid

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was partially funded by the BC Red-Water Foundation (Perugia, Italy), PFZM Kitchenbrown Trust (Matelica, Italy), and by “Fondazione Cassa Risparmio di Perugia” (Project Number: 2015.0373.021). The authors gratefully acknowledge the revision of the English text by Sheila Beatty.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Medicina VeterinariaUniversità degli Studi di PerugiaPerugiaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze agrarie, alimentari ed ambientaliUniversità degli Studi di PerugiaPerugiaItaly

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