Characteristics of Phthalate Esters-exposed Boar Sperm during Boar Semen Storage

돼지 정액을 보관하는 동안 phthalate esters에 노출된 정자의 특성

  • Lee, A-Sung (College of Animal Life Science, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Lee, Sang-Hee (Institute of Animal Resources, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Lee, Seunghyung (College of Animal Life Science, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Yang, Boo-Keun (College of Animal Life Science, Kangwon National University)
  • 이아성 (강원대학교 동물생명과학대학) ;
  • 이상희 (동물자원공동연구소) ;
  • 이승형 (강원대학교 동물생명과학대학) ;
  • 양부근 (강원대학교 동물생명과학대학)
  • Received : 2018.11.19
  • Accepted : 2019.04.16
  • Published : 2019.04.30


Phthalate is a chemical endocrine disrupter and interfere with the action of hormones, estrogens, androgens and thyroid hormones. It also affect cardiovascular, metabolic, immune and reproductive system in the human and animals. Curcumin is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory activity and -cancer properties in the human. We studied whether phthalates damage viability, mitochondrial activity and membrane integrity of sperm in boar semen. We also treated curcumin with/without phthalates in the boar semen. Fresh boar semen was treated with phthalates and/or curcumin for examining sperm characteristics. Sperm characteristics, sperm motility, viability, mitochondrial activity, and membrane integrity were determined during storage of boar semen. Sperm motility and viability in dose-dependent manner decreased by di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP) and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP, p<0.05). Phthalates also decreased mitochondrial activity and membrane integrity of sperm (p<0.05). However, sperm motility and viability were higher than untreated-curcumin when DBP, MBP and DEHP treated with a curcumin in boar semen (p<0.05). Mitochondrial activity and membrane integrity of sperm were higher in DBP- and MBP-treated semen with curcumin (p<0.05). In conclusion, phthalates can damage sperm viability and quality during the boar semen storage, and curcumin may protect the boar sperms from phthalates during storage term.

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Fig. 1. Effect of DBP, MBP, DEHP (50 μM) and/or curcumin (5 μM) on sperm motility in boar semen. Asterisks indicate significant differences compared with phthalate-treated sperm. Values represented as means ± SEM (p<0.05).

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Fig. 2. Effect of DBP, MBP, DEHP (50 μM) and/or curcumin (5 μM) on viability of sperm in boar semen. Asterisks indicate significant differences compared with phthalate-treated sample. Values represented as means ± SEM (p<0.05).

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Fig. 3. Effect of DBP, MBP, DEHP (50 μM) and/or curcumin (5 μM) on mitochondrial activity in boar semen. Asterisks indicate significant differences compared with phthalate-treated sample (p<0.05).

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Fig. 4. Effect of DBP, MBP, DEHP (50 μM) and/or curcumin (5 μM) on membrane integrity of sperm in boar semen. Asterisks indicate significant differences compared with phthalate-treated sperm. Values represented as means ± SEM (p<0.05).

Table 1. Composition of Modena extender

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Table 2. Effect of phthalates on sperm motility

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Table 3. Effect of phthalates on viability of sperm

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Table 4. Effect of phthalates on sperm mitochondrial activity

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Table 5. Effect of phthalates on membrane integrity of sperm

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