Olatunji Abubakar Jimoh, Emmanuel Olubisi Ewuola


Heat stress hinders attainment of optimal reproductive ability and genetic improvement of rabbit in hot climate. There is genetic variation among animals for cooling capability, which suggests that more heat tolerant animals can be selected genetically. The success of continuous mating cycles in rabbits all year round is highly compromised by heat stress. Thus, contributions of heat stress to infertility in rabbits via oxidative stress requires investigation to assess the adaptability and productivity of exotic breeds of rabbit in tropics. Thirty adult rabbit bucks each of Fauve de Bourgogne, Chinchilla, British Spot and New Zealand White, age range between 7-13 months were randomly selected from a larger flock at the season with the highest temperature-humidity index in Ibadan, Southwest Nigeria. After 9 weeks of exposure of the animals to the average daily temperature humidity index (THI) of the prevailing heat stress condition in the study area, semen ejaculate was collected weekly for assessment; semen characteristics, seminal biochemical and oxidative stress markers using standard procedures were assessed. Results obtained indicate that mass activity and motility of spermatozoa in New Zealand White bucks was significantly (p<0.05) higher than Fauve de Bourgogne bucks. Functional sperm membrane integrity of 54.35% (Fauve de Bourgogne), 48.43% (Chinchilla), 49.56% (British Spot) and 58.94 % for New Zealand White bucks was obtained. Seminal total antioxidant activity was significantly (p<0.05) highest in New Zealand White bucks (0.60mmol/litre) and significantly (p<0.05) least values was obtained in British Spot (0.17mmol/litre). The seminal lipid peroxidation was significantly (p<0.05) lower in British Spot (1.84 TBARS/mg protein). New Zealand white bucks had the best semen quality which could be due to its high antioxidant status. However, British spot bucks had the least seminal lipid peroxidation.



El estrés térmico dificulta alcanzar una optima capacidad reproductiva y el mejoramiento genético del conejo en un clima cálido. Existe una variación genética entre los animales para la capacidad de enfriamiento, lo que sugiere que los animales con mayor tolerancia al calor pueden seleccionarse genéticamente. El éxito de los ciclos de apareamiento continuo en conejos durante todo el año se ve altamente comprometido por el estrés térmico. Por lo tanto, las contribuciones del estrés térmico a la infertilidad en conejos a través del estrés oxidativo requieren investigaciones para evaluar la adaptabilidad y la productividad de las razas exóticas de conejos en los trópicos. Se seleccionaron aleatoriamente treinta conejos adultos de las siguientes razas: Fauve De Bourgogne, Chinchilla, British Spot y New Zealand White, de entre 7 y 13 meses de un lote más grande, y durante la época con el índice de temperatura y humedad más alto en Ibadan, en el suroeste de Nigeria. Después de 9 semanas de exposición de los animales al índice  temperatura-humedad diario promedio (THI) característico de estrés térmico en el área de estudio, se colectó semen semanalmente para su evaluación. Se evaluaron las características del semen, marcadores bioquímicos seminales y de estrés oxidativo utilizando procedimientos estándar. Los resultados obtenidos indican que la actividad masal y la motilidad de los espermatozoides en los conejos New Zealand White fue significativamente más alta (p <0.05) que los Fauve de Bourgogne. Se obtuvo una integridad funcional de la membrana espermática de 54.35% (Fauve de Bourgogne), 48.43% (Chinchilla), 49.56% (Mancha británica) y 58.94% para los New Zealand White. La actividad antioxidante total  del semen fue significativamente más alta (p <0.05) en los conejos de raza New Zealand White (0.60 mmol / litro) y significativamente (p <0.05) menor en los British Spot (0.17 mmol / litro). La peroxidación lipídica seminal fue significativamente menor (p <0.05) en la British Spot (1.84 TBARS/mg de proteína). Los conejos de la raza New Zealand White tuvieron la mejor calidad seminal, lo que podría deberse al alto estatus antioxidante. Sin embargo, los conejos de raza British Spot tuvieron la menor peroxidación lipídica seminal.

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