Effects of Dietary Supplementation of Conjugated Linoleic Acids and Their Inclusion in Semen Extenders on Bovine Sperm Quality

Mohammed S. Liman, Vittoria Franco, Claudia L. Cardoso, Valentina Longobardi, Bianca Gasparrini, Matthew B. Wheeler, Marcello Rubessa, Giulia Esposito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Isomers of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) enhances circulating insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels. Furthermore, fertility rate of breeding bulls is positively correlated to seminal plasma IGF-I concentration. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of dietary CLA supplementation and inclusion to the semen extender on bovine semen quality and freezability. Fourteen bulls, randomly assigned to control (CTL) and CLA (50 g/day) groups, were supplemented for 10 weeks. Samples were collected at Weeks −2 (before supplementation), 0, 4, 6 (during supplementation), 10, and 11 (after supplementation). Blood and seminal plasma were analyzed for IGF-I; the ejaculates were frozen in the following subgroups: CTL (no addition to semen extender), CLA c9, t11 (50 µM), CLA c9, t11 (100 µM), CLA t10, c12 (50 µM), CLA t10, c12 (100 µM), and CLA mix (50 µM each of CLA c9, t11 and CLA t10, c12). Sperm motility, morphology, viability, mitochondrial membrane potential, and reactive oxidative species were assessed. CLA supplementation decreased ejaculates’ total volume, increased sperm concentration, beat cross frequency, and decreased oxidative stress; it also increased plasma and seminal plasma IGF-I levels compared to the CTL. The inclusion of CLA c9, t11 100 µM and CLA mixture in the extender increased live spermatozoa percentage post-thawing compared to other groups. Our results show a beneficial effect of CLA supplementation on semen quality; however, further studies evaluating fertilization rates are necessary to corroborate the results.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number483
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 12 2021


  • CLA
  • Flow cytometry
  • IGF-I
  • Semen evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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