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Zinc Plays A Vital Role In Male Pig Fertility

- Jun 19, 2018 -

Zinc plays a vital role in male pig fertility

Zinc plays a key role in promoting male fertility - this applies to pigs, as well as humans and other species

Researchers at the University of Missouri reached this conclusion, and recently published this in the journal Nature Communications. In a press release, the university stated that this is "a finding that has implications for improving the in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination of livestock and the diagnosis and treatment of human infertility."

Zinc is related to fertility - also in pigs

In a press release, Peter Sutovsky, professor of animal science at the University's College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, said: "Zinc is directly related to fertility. We know that giving men's zinc supplements - whether pigs or humans - will increase fertility. Now we Knowing analytical zinc signatures can help us quickly assess sperm fertilization potential and quality.

Scientists have long been trying to understand what regulates the "capacity" of sperm, the important physiological processes sperm must undergo to fertilize egg cells. Professor Sutovsky and doctoral student Karl Kerns use image-based flow cytometry to monitor zinc motility at different stages of sperm cell capacitation.


Healthy porcine semen cells, photographed through a microscope. Photo: Henk Riswick

The role of zinc ions in fertilization

They found that zinc ions (Zn2+) have significant control over their ability to obtain, not just the start-up process, because in some cases ions can prevent or even reverse the energetic process. This can also happen when the egg has been fertilized and must resist another fertilization.


Researchers Peter Sutovsky (left) and Karl Kerns. Photo: University of Missouri

Another product of the study was the ability to analyze sperm cells by flow cytometry to quickly and accurately assess fertility in pigs, other livestock, or humans. When it comes to alternative processes such as in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination, this can help make more informed decisions

Diluting Sperm Cells Before Pigs AI

For example, sperm cells are traditionally "diluted" prior to artificial insemination into livestock, which eliminates some of the zinc. According to the press release, storing zinc will lead to healthier sperm and a stronger ability to recognize infertility.

"Infertility is a costly issue for humans and animals," Kerns said in a press release. “This study has provided us with tools to solve problems more effectively by demonstrating the importance of zinc – both as an intermediary for fertility and as an indicator we use to identify sperm problems. If we can re Adding a pig will increase the income of American pig farmers by 130 million U.S. dollars every year. "

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