Selenium supplementation prevents DNA damage in RAM spermatozoa
Suplementação com selênio previne danos ao DNA espermático de ovinos
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In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of different concentrations of selenium (Se) ovine nutritional supplementation on spermatozoa DNA integrity. Thirty male ovines (age: 10 months) were used. They were fed with hay and ram food in an intensive system, which was divided into stalls (5 m long and 3 m wide) with feeding troughs, and had ad libitum access to food and water. Ovines in group 1 (G1, the negative control) received mineral salt supplementation without Se; ovines in G2 received the same mineral salt mixed with 5 mg Se (as sodium selenite)/kg mineral supplement;ovines in G3 received 10 mg Se/kg mineral supplement; ovines in G4 received 15 mg Se/kg mineral supplement; and ovines in G5 received 20 mg Se/kg mineral supplement. Ovines in all groups remained untreated for 14 days, followed by a treatment period of 56 days. Semen samples were obtained by electroejaculation. The DNA damage in semen samples was evaluated using the comet assay. The experimental design was implemented using a 5 × 5 Latin Square, i.e., five treatments and five experimental periods. The mean differences were compared using Tukey’s test at a significance level of 5%. The control group (G1) showed a high percentage of DNA damage compared to the Se-treated groups (G2–G5). Therefore, Se supplementation could decrease the basal level of DNA damage in sperm cells, suggesting that Se might exert protective effects on sperm DNA.