The effect of dietary energy levels on the sexual puberty of ram lambs

Keywords: Postnatal feeding, Testis, spermatogenesis, nutrition

Abstract

Aim of study: To evaluate the effect of different feeding levels on body weight changes, sexual behavior activities, and spermatogenesis characteristics of testis tissue in immature Iranian breed lambs.

Area of study: University of Tabriz, Iran.

Material and methods: A total of 40 (start of experiment, 4; after 6 months, 12; 9 months, 12; sexual behavior, 12) two-month-old immature ram lambs were divided into three equal groups and were fed for eight months with three different concentrate mixtures formulated using conventional ingredients based on barley grain. Lambs received the same amount of crude protein with three levels of energy. The diet of the low-energy (LE) group had an energy of 10% lower than the control group, which received a diet with optimum energy of 100% according to the NRC. Lambs in the high-energy (HE) group were fed diets with an energy of 10% higher than the optimum energy group. In each group, four lambs were castrated in three steps, including the ages of 2 (start of treatment), 6, and 9 months. Body weight and scrotal circumference were recorded monthly. Sexual behaviors toward estrus ewes were evaluated for 30 min, and the testes were analyzed histologically.

Main results: The lambs in the LE group had lower body weight and smaller scrotal circumference than HE group (p<0.05). Sexual behaviors in the HE group occurred at an earlier age, such as mount and mounts with ejaculation, as the external presentations of puberty (p<0.05).   

Research highlights: Underfeeding of pre-pubertal animals delayed puberty, while high-plane feeding advanced puberty.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Aitken R, De Iuliis G, Gibb Z, Baker M, 2012. The Simmet lecture: new horizons on an old landscape-oxidative stress, DNA damage and apoptosis in the male germ line. Reprod Domest Anim 47: 7-14. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0531.2012.02049.x

Bielli A, Katz H, Pedrana G, Gastel MT, Moraña A, Castrillejo A et al., 2001. Nutritional management during fetal and postnatal life, and the influence on testicular stereology and Sertoli cell numbers in Corriedale ram lambs. Small Rumin Res 40: 63-71. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-4488(00)00213-3

Bielli A, Pérez R, Pedrana G, Milton JT, Lopez Á, Blackberry MA et al., 2002. Low maternal nutrition during pregnancy reduces the number of Sertoli cells in the newborn lamb. Rep Fert Dev 14: 333-337. https://doi.org/10.1071/RD02046

Bollwein H, Janett F, Kaske M, 2017. Effects of nutrition on sexual development of bulls. Anim Reprod 14: 607-613. https://doi.org/10.21451/1984-3143-AR1004

Castellano JM, Betsen AH, Sánchez-Garrido MA, Ruiz-Pino F, Romero M, Garcia-Galiano D et al., 2011. Early metabolic programming of puberty onset: impact of changes in postnatal feeding and rearing conditions on the timing of puberty and development of the hypothalamic kisspeptin system. Endocrinology 152: 3396-3408. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2010-1415

Çeribaşı S, Türk G, Özçelik M, Doğan G, Çeribaşı A, Mutlu Sİ et al., 2020. Negative effect of feeding with high energy diets on testes and metabolic blood parameters of male Japanese quails, and positive role of milk thistle seed. Theriogenology 144: 74-81. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2019.12.021

Creasy D, Bube A, Rijk Ed, Kandori H, Kuwahara M, Masson R et al., 2012. Proliferative and nonproliferative lesions of the rat and mouse male reproductive system. Toxic Path 40: 40S-121S. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192623312454337

Da Silva P, Aitken R, Rhind S, Racey PA, Wallace J, 2001. Influence of placentally mediated fetal growth restriction on the onset of puberty in male and female lambs. Reproduction 122: 375-383. https://doi.org/10.1530/rep.0.1220375

Daniel Jr WA, Feinstein RA, Howard-Peebles P, Baxley WD, 1982. Testicular volumes of adolescents. J Pediatrics 101: 1010-1012. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-3476(82)80034-6

Guan Y, Malecki IA, Hawken PA, Linden MD, Martin GB, 2014. Under-nutrition reduces spermatogenic efficiency and sperm velocity, and increases sperm DNA damage in sexually mature male sheep. Anim Reprod Sci 149: 163-172. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2014.07.014

Guan Y, Liang G, Hawken PA, Meachem SJ, Malecki IA, Ham S et al., 2016. Nutrition affects Sertoli cell function but not Sertoli cell numbers in sexually mature male sheep. Reprod Fert Dev 28: 1152-1163. https://doi.org/10.1071/RD14368

Guan Y, Martin GB, 2017. Cellular and molecular responses of adult testis to changes in nutrition: novel insights from the sheep model. Reproduction 154: R133-R141. https://doi.org/10.1530/REP-17-0061

Hötzel M, Markey C, Walkden-Brown S, Blackberry M, Martin G, 1998. Morphometric and endocrine analyses of the effects of nutrition on the testis of mature Merino rams. J Reprod Fert 113: 217-230. https://doi.org/10.1530/jrf.0.1130217

Kaminski SL, Redmer DA, Bass CS, Keisler DH, Carlson LS, Vonnahme KA et al., 2015. The effects of diet and arginine treatment on serum metabolites and selected hormones during the estrous cycle in sheep. Theriogenology 83: 808-816. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2014.11.017

Kastelic JP, 2014. Understanding and evaluating bovine testes. Theriogenology 81: 18-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2013.09.001

Kenny D, Byrne C, 2018. The effect of nutrition on timing of pubertal onset and subsequent fertility in the bull. Animal 12: s36-s44. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731118000514

Keyhanmanesh R, Hamidian G, Alipour MR, Ranjbar M, Oghbaei H, 2018. Protective effects of sodium nitrate against testicular apoptosis and spermatogenesis impairments in streptozotocin-induced diabetic male rats. Life Sci 211: 63-73. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2018.09.019

Martin G, Blache D, Miller D, Vercoe P, 2010. Interactions between nutrition and reproduction in the management of the mature male ruminant. Animal 4: 1214-1226. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731109991674

Martin G, de St Jorre TJ, Al Mohsen F, Malecki I, 2011. Modification of spermatozoa quality in mature small ruminants. Reprod Fert Dev 24: 13-18. https://doi.org/10.1071/RD11902

Mattos R, Staples CR, Thatcher WW, 2000. Effects of dietary fatty acids on reproduction in ruminants. Rev Reprod 5: 38-45. https://doi.org/10.1530/ror.0.0050038

Moghaddam G, Pourseif M, Asadpour R, Rafat SA, Jafari-Jozani R, 2012. Relationship between levels of peripheral blood testosterone, sexual behavior, scrotal circumference and seminal parameters in crossbred rams. Acta Sci Vet 40: 1049. https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=289023557004

Moghaddam A, Panah M, Souri M, 2019. Improved early postnatal nutrition and its effect on histomorphological parameters in the testes of Sanjabi ram lambs. Trop Anim Health Prod 51: 1539-1544. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-019-01842-0

National Research Council, 2007. Nutrient requirements of small ruminants (1st edition). NRC, National Academy Press: Washington, DC, USA.

Nazari-Zenouz F, Moghaddam GH, Hamidian G, Ashrafi J, Rafat SA, Qasemi-Panahi B, 2016. Postnatal testicular development and testosterone changes in Ghezel ram lambs. Small Rumin Res 141: 70-76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2016.07.001

Nieto CR, Thompson A, Martin G, 2018. A new perspective on managing the onset of puberty and early reproductive performance in ewe lambs: a review. Anim Prod Sci 58: 1967-1975. https://doi.org/10.1071/AN17787

Oatley JM, Reeves JJ, McLean DJ, 2005. Establishment of spermatogenesis in neonatal bovine testicular tissue following ectopic xenografting varies with donor age. Bio Reprod 72: 358-364. https://doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.104.030783

Oghbaei H, Alipour MR, Hamidian G, Ahmadi M, Ghorbanzadeh V, Keyhanmanesh, R, 2018. Two months sodium nitrate supplementation alleviates testicular injury in streptozotocin‐induced diabetic male rats. Exper Physiol 103: 1603-1617. https://doi.org/10.1113/EP087198

Ramukhithi FV, Nephawe KA, Chokoe TC, Matabane MB, Mphaphathi ML, Lehloenya KC, Nedambale TL, 2017. Attainment of puberty in South African unimproved indigenous bucks. Small Rumin Res 153: 57-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smallrumres.2017.05.009

Rawlings N, Evans A, Chandolia R, Bagu E, 2008. Sexual maturation in the bull. Reprod Domes Anim 43: 295-301. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0531.2008.01177.x

Roa J, García-Galiano D, Castellano JM, Gaytan F, Pinilla L, Tena-Sempere M, 2010. Metabolic control of puberty onset: new players, new mechanisms. Mol Cell Endocrin 324: 87-94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2009.12.018

Robinson J, Ashworth C, Rooke J, Mitchell L, McEvoy T, 2006. Nutrition and fertility in ruminant livestock. Anim Feed Sci Technol 126: 259-276. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2005.08.006

Sharpe RM, McKinnell C, Kivlin C, Fisher JS, 2003. Proliferation and functional maturation of Sertoli cells, and their relevance to disorders of testis function in adulthood. Reproduction 125: 769-784. https://doi.org/10.1530/rep.0.1250769

Sweeney T, Fox J, Robertson L, Kelly G, Duffy P, Lonergan P et al., 2007. Postnatal exposure to octylphenol decreases semen quality in the adult ram. Theriogenology 67: 1068-1075. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2006.12.010

Swelum AAA, Ayadi M, Alhidary I, Alowaimer A, Abouheif M, 2017. The relationships between body fatness, leptin, testosterone, and reproductive performance in ram lambs as affected by level and frequency of feeding. Theriogenology 89: 79-85. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2016.10.013

Taskinen S, Taavitsainen M, Wikstrom S, 1996. Measurement of testicular volume: comparison of 3 different methods. J Urology 155: 930-933. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5347(01)66349-3

Tena‐Sempere M, 2010. Kisspeptin/GPR54 system as potential target for endocrine disruption of reproductive development and function. Int J Androl 33: 360-368. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2605.2009.01012.x

Tufarelli V, Lacalandra G, Aiudi G, Binetti F, Laudadio V, 2011. Influence of feeding level on live body weight and semen characteristics of Sardinian rams reared under intensive conditions. Trop Anim Health Prod 43: 339-345. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-010-9695-y

Valasi I, Chadio S, Fthenakis G, Amiridis G, 2012. Management of pre-pubertal small ruminants: Physiological basis and clinical approach. Anim Reprod Sci 130: 126-134. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anireprosci.2012.01.005

Published
2022-07-06
How to Cite
Nazari-ZonouzF., MoghaddamG., HamidianG., Daghigh-KiaH., & TaghizadehA. (2022). The effect of dietary energy levels on the sexual puberty of ram lambs. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 20(3), e0403. https://doi.org/10.5424/sjar/2022203-18125
Section
Animal breeding, genetics and reproduction