Characteristics of Antioxidant Systems of Yellow Fraction of Red Deer's (Cervus elaphusL.) Semen During the Rutting Period

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ContentsThe objective of this study was to make the preliminary characterization of the antioxidant defence systems of the yellow fraction (YF) of red deer's (Cervus elaphus L.) semen during the rutting period. The semen was collected using artificial vagina (AV). The studies included spectrophotometric determination of antioxidant enzymes activities such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx). We also analysed the contents of low-molecular antioxidants such as L-glutathione (GSH + GSSG), L-ascorbate (ASC) and total antioxidant status (TAS). Additionally, the samples were subjected to PAGE and stained for SOD and GPx activities. It was demonstrated that the yellow fraction exhibited activities of SOD and GPx, with the highest activities in September and October. CAT activity was not detected. Staining for the SOD and GPx activities confirmed three protein bands with SOD activity and one protein band with GPx activity. The content of GSH + GSSG was similar in trials dating from October to December contrary to the content of ASC which was high in samples from September and October. The stable rate of TAS was observed during the whole rutting period. The results of this study showed that the YF of red deer semen is equipped with basic battery of antioxidant enzymes comprising SOD and GPx, with the supporting role of GSH + GSSG and ASC. Moreover, the samples obtained at the peak of the rutting period occurring from September to October had the highest enzymatic activity in comparison with remaining months of the rutting period, which contributed to the high quality of the semen by preventing it from the formation of oxidative stress during the short period of intense sexual activity of male red deer. The better understanding of the mechanisms of antioxidant defence systems in the YF of deer's semen may contribute to the potential use of this fraction in technology of wild ruminant semen preservation.

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