Flying-fox (Pteropus spp.) sperm membrane fatty acid composition, its relationship to cold shock injury and implications for cryopreservation success.

Abstract

The very large acrosome of Pteropus species spermatozoa is prone to damage during cooling procedures. Cryogenic succuss has been linked to membrane composition, therefore the lipid composition of five Pteropus species sperm acrosomal and plasma membranes were investigated to provide insight into reasons for cold shock susceptibility. Rapid chilling and re-warming of spermatozoa from three Pteropus species resulted in a decrease (P<0.05) in acrosomal integrity. Biochemical analysis of lipids revealed that stearic acid (18:0) was the predominant saturated fatty acid and oleic acid (18:1, n-9) the predominant unsaturated fatty acid in both acrosomal and plasma membranes. Linolenic acid (18:3, n-3) was only detected in plasma membranes of Pteropus hypomelanus and was detected in acrosomal membranes of all Pteropus spp. studied (except Pteropus giganteus). Although detected in both plasma and acrosomal membranes of Pteropus vampyrus, docosahexaenoic acid (22:6) was not detected at all in Pteropus poliocephalus, only in trace levels in the acrosomal and plasma membranes of P. giganteus and P. hypomelanus and not in acrosomal membranes of Pteropus rodricensis. No difference was seen in the levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) within plasma membranes, however PUFAs were lower (P<0.05) in acrosomal membranes of P. giganteus compared with P. vampyrus. Pteropus spp. spermatozoa have a very low ratio of unsaturated/saturated membrane fatty acids (<0.5). Membranes containing more PUFAs are more fluid, so the use of cryogenic media which improves membrane fluidity should improve Pteropus spp. spermatozoal viability post-thaw.

DOI: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2012.06.007

Cite this paper

@article{Melville2012FlyingfoxS, title={Flying-fox (Pteropus spp.) sperm membrane fatty acid composition, its relationship to cold shock injury and implications for cryopreservation success.}, author={Debbie F Melville and Steve Johnston and Robert R Miller}, journal={Cryobiology}, year={2012}, volume={65 3}, pages={224-9} }