Treatment with zinc, d-aspartate, and coenzyme Q10 protects bull sperm against damage and improves their ability to support embryo development

Theriogenology. 2014 Sep 1;82(4):592-8. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2014.05.028. Epub 2014 Jun 11.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are physiologically generated during mitochondrial respiration and are involved in several signaling mechanisms. However, under pathological conditions, the concentration of ROS may exceed the antioxidant scavenging systems and subsequently lead to cell damage. High ROS levels have been proven to be detrimental to spermatozoa and furthermore compromise sperm function through lipid peroxidation, protein damage, and DNA strand breakage. Although the oral administration of antioxidants has been demonstrated to improve the semen quality in subfertile men, it is still a matter of debate if it can positively influence fertilization outcome and embryo developmental competence. Studies carried out in suitable animal models could resolve these fundamental questions. Hence, the main aims of the present study were to evaluate: (1) the effects of zinc, d-aspartate, and coenzyme Q10, included in the dietary supplement Genadis (Merck Serono), on bull sperm motility and DNA fragmentation; and (2) whether treated spermatozoa have a superior competence in fertilization and in supporting the development of healthy embryos. Our data indicate that this treatment prevents the loss of sperm motility and the rise in sperm DNA fragmentation over time. Moreover, blastocyst rate was found to be significantly higher in oocytes fertilized by treated spermatozoa, and these blastocysts harbored a significantly lower percentage of apoptotic cells.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Bovine; DNA damage; Embryo development; Spermatozoa.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • D-Aspartic Acid / pharmacology*
  • DNA Fragmentation / drug effects
  • Embryonic Development / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / cytology
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism
  • Ubiquinone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ubiquinone / pharmacology
  • Zinc / pharmacology*


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Ubiquinone
  • D-Aspartic Acid
  • coenzyme Q10
  • Zinc