Variation in lipid profiles within semen compartments-the bovine model of aging

Nurit Argov-Argaman, Karin Mahgrefthe, Yoel Zeron, Zvi Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Semen lipid composition was examined in young and mature bulls. Given the specific roles of various semen compartments (i.e., seminal fluid, sperm head, and sperm tail) during fertilization, we hypothesized that altered fatty acid and cholesterol composition of a specific compartment might impair semen quality and sperm function. Semen samples were collected from five mature and five young Holstein Friesian bulls during the winter (December-January). Semen was evaluated by computerized sperm-quality analyzer for bulls and was centrifuged to separate the sperm from the seminal fluid. The sperm fraction was sonicated to separate its head and tail compartments. Cold extraction of lipids was performed, and fatty acids and cholesterol were identified and quantified by gas chromatography. Semen physiological features (concentration, motility, and progressive motility) did not differ between mature and young bulls. However, lipid composition within fractions varied between groups, with prominent impairments in the head compartment. In particular, the proportions of polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, and docosahexaenoic acid in the intact sperm; seminal fluid; and sperm head were lower in semen collected from mature bulls than in that from young bulls. The finding suggests an age-differential absorption and/or metabolism through spermatogenesis. Reduced proportions of major fatty acids in mature bulls might reduce membrane fluidity, which in turn might affect the ability to undergo cryopreservation and/or oocyte-sperm fusion through fertilization.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)712-721
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2013


  • Cholesterol
  • Fatty acid
  • Quality
  • Sperm

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


Dive into the research topics of 'Variation in lipid profiles within semen compartments-the bovine model of aging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this