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Biol Trace Elem Res. 1998 Summer;64(1-3):119-32.

Effect of vitamin E and selenium supplementation of cockerel diets on glutathione peroxidase activity and lipid peroxidation susceptibility in sperm, testes, and liver.

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Department of Physiology, Biochemistry and Nutrition, Poultry Research Institute, Ukraine, Kharkov region, Borky.


The phospholipids of avian spermatozoa are characterized by high proportions of arachidonic (20:4n-6) and docosatetraenoic (22:4n-6) fatty acids and are therefore sensitive to lipid peroxidation. Alpha-tocopherol and glutathione peroxidase [GSH-Px] are believed to be the primary components of the antioxidant system of the spermatozoa. The present study evaluates the effect of vitamin E and vitamin E plus Se supplementation of the cockerel diet on GSH-Px activity, vitamin E accumulation, and lipid peroxidation in the spermatozoa, testes, and liver. At the beginning of the experiment 75 Rhode Island Red cockerels were divided into five groups, kept in individual cages, and fed a wheat-barley-based ration balanced in all nutrients. Supplements fed to the different groups were as follows: vitamin E, 0, 20, 200, 20, and 200 mg/kg to groups 1-5, respectively, with groups 4 and 5 also receiving 0. 3 mg Se/kg. The vitamin E supplementation produced increased levels of alpha-tocopherol in semen, testes, and liver. The inclusion of the Se into the cock diet had a significant (P < 0.01) stimulating effect on GSH-Px activity in seminal plasma, spermatozoa, testes, and liver. The increased vitamin E concentration in the spermatozoa was associated with a reduction in their susceptibility to lipid peroxidation. Similarly, the increased GSH-Px activity provided enhanced protection against lipid peroxidation.

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