SEMEN CHARACTERISTICS, TESTICULAR HISTOLOGY AND HAEMATOLOGY OF YANKASA RAMS FED RATIONS OF WHOLE COTTONSEED AND COTTONSEED CAKE

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SEMEN CHARACTERISTICS, TESTICULAR HISTOLOGY AND HAEMATOLOGY OF YANKASA RAMS FED RATIONS OF WHOLE COTTONSEED AND COTTONSEED CAKE

 

Abstract

Cottonseed and its by-products are used extensively for supplementing ruminant rations to increase productivity. However, they contain gossypol which is a reproductive toxicant in males of both ruminant and non-ruminants. This study evaluated the effect of dietary gossypol from whole cottonseed (WCS) and cottonseed cake (CSC) on the semen characteristics and testicular morphology of Yankasa rams. Fifteen (15) Yankasa rams weighing an average of 20 3 Kg were randomly distributed into three groups (A, B and C) of five rams each and were fed diets containing 48 % WCS, 48 % CSC and control diet (gossypol-free), respectively for 14 weeks. The semen was collected weekly using an electro-ejaculator and was evaluated for volume, gross motility, concentration, live sperm cells and morphology. Similarly, the body weight, scrotal circumference and some haematological parameters were evaluated on a weekly basis. An ultrasonographic examination of the testis of each ram was done every month for 3 months. At the end of the feeding period, the rams were slaughtered and histopathogical examination of the testicular tissues (n = 2) as well as gonadal and epididymal sperm reserves (n = 3) were conducted. The data obtained were statistically analysed using GraphPad Prism version 5.0. Significance of differences between treatments means were determined at P ≤ 0.05 with Tukey-Kramer multiple comparison test of repeated measure analysis of variance (ANOVA). The mean semen volume and concentration, body weights, white blood cell counts and total proteins of the rams in the experimental groups A and B did not differ significantly (p > 0.05) from that of the rams in the control group. However, the mean values of semen gross motility (p < 0.0001), live spermatozoa (p < 0.05) and scrotal circumference (p < 0.05) were significantly lower in the treatment groups than in the control groups while the mean totalsperm abnormalities (p < 0.0001)of the rams in the experimental groups A and B were significantly higher than those of the control group. Similarly, mean packed cell volume (PCV) and haemoglobin (Hb) concentration differed significantly (P < 0.0001) between experimental and control groups at weeks 8 to 14. Gonadal and epididymal lengths, weights and sperm reserves did not differ significantly (p > 0.05) between the experimental and the control groups. Histopathological changes observed in the testes of the rams in the treatment groups were depletion of spermatogenic cell layers and arrest of spermatogenesis at the spermatocyte and spermatids levels and an exfoliation of the spermatogonia. There was vacuolation of the germ layers in the seminiferous tubules. These changes were indicative of testicular degeneration. Ultrasonograms of the testis of rams from experimental groups showed loss of homogeneity and an increased hyperechoic appearance which were also indicative of testicular degeneration. It is concluded that, gossypol from whole cottonseed and cottonseed cake has detrimental effects on both semen characteristics and testicular histology. We recommend that these cotton products should be minimised in feeds forrams intended for breeding purposes

 

SEMEN CHARACTERISTICS, TESTICULAR HISTOLOGY AND HAEMATOLOGY OF YANKASA RAMS FED RATIONS OF WHOLE COTTONSEED AND COTTONSEED CAKE

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