Effects of exposing boars to different artificial light regimens on semen plasma markers and "in vivo" fertilizing capacity

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This study was designed to assess the effects of exposing boars to an artificial photoperiod on semen quality in terms of sperm concentration, sperm vitality, sperm motility and acrosome integrity. We also determined biochemical semen plasma variables, such as total protein concentration, phosphorylated tyrosine residues and fructose, glucose and sorbitol contents, along with their effects on the fertility, prolificacy and libido of the boars. Three groups of 10 males were kept for 3 months under experimental conditions of 24, 12 and 0 h of artificial light, and a constant temperature of 21 ± 1°C and 60-75% humidity. The animals were fed a nutritious diet and subjected to semen collection twice per week. Semen samples were analyzed throughout the entire experimental period. Our results indicate that, while the extreme photoperiods (0 and 24 h of light) affected semen quality in terms of sperm concentration, acrosome integrity and semen volume, its fertilizing capacity was only significantly reduced under conditions of absolute darkness. Sperm motility was found to be a poor indicator of fertilizing ability, while other sperm factors, such as acrosome integrity or other functional variables seemed to behave better. The photoperiod was found to affect the production of accessory sex gland secretions more than their composition. In addition, light effects on fertility, prolificacy and libido seemed to be achieved through independent mechanisms ​
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