This study investigated the effect of age- and seasonal-related variations in the composition of boar semen over a 3-year period. At the onset of 8 months of age, ejaculates were collected from four boars and allocated into three groups: 8 to 18, 19 to 30, and 31 to 42 months and were divided into two seasonal periods: autumn-winter and spring-summer.
Boar variability had a significant effect on most of the analyzed semen parameters. Significantly, higher ejaculate volumes were observed in the boars older than 18 months of age during the autumn-winter period. Sperm concentration was higher in boars less than the age of 18 months of age, whereas the total sperm numbers were significantly higher during the autumn-winter period, regardless of the age group. Seasonal effects in sperm motility were more marked in boars at the age of 19 to 30 months, being significantly higher during the autumn-winter period. The proportions of spermatozoa with intact, normal apical ridge acrosome, and osmotically tolerant acrosomal membranes were markedly higher in boars at the age of 19 to 30 months during the autumn-winter period. Spermatozoa harvested during the spring-summer period were more susceptible to lipid peroxidation, irrespective of the age group. Significantly, higher levels of protein content and concentrations of nonthiol-containing antioxidant components of the seminal plasma (SP) were detected in boars less than 18 months of age during the autumn-winter period. Seasonal effects on the pH and proteinase inhibitory activity in the SP were more marked in boars less than 18 months of age, whereas alkaline phosphatase activity was greater in boars at the age of 19 to 30 months during the autumn-winter period. Substantial amounts of the thiol-containing antioxidants of the SP were detected in boars older than 18 months of age during the spring-summer period. Neither osmolality nor total antioxidant status was affected by differences in the seasonal periods or age groups.
The findings of this study indicate that age- and seasonal-related variations affect the reproductive tract functions in the boar, resulting in marked changes in the biochemical composition of the semen.
L. Fraser, J. Strzeżek, K. Filipowicz, M. Mogielnicka-Brzozowska, L. Zasiadczyk. Age and seasonal-dependent variations in the biochemical composition of boar semen. Theriogenology August 2016. Volume 86, Issue 3, Pages 806–816. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2016.02.035