Effects of the Seminal Plasma Iron and Lead Content on Semen Quality of Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) Bulls

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

2 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran


In order to determine iron and lead content of seminal plasma in water buffalo and to study their associations with the semen characteristics, 54 semen samples were collected from 10 buffalo bulls. The semen characteristics were evaluated; its iron and lead content were estimated by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The iron and lead content of the seminal plasma (Mean ± SEM) was recorded as 40.68 ± 0.75 mg L-1 and 0.026 ± 0.008 mg L -1, respectively. The mean iron value was highly associated with sperm progressive motility, gross motility and viability, negatively with lead content, and had a negative association with semen volume. The mean lead value was highly negatively associated with sperm progressive motility, gross motility, viability and positively associated with sperm abnormal morphology. For further clarification of these associations, the results were categorized in three groups of excellent (Ex, > 90 % motile, n = 33), good (Go, 80-89 % motile, n = 15) and moderate (Mo, < 79 % motile, n = 6) according to their percentage of sperm motility. The mean progressive motility in Ex, Go and Mo group was 92.24 ± 0.51 %, 81.66 ± 0.62 %, and 71.66 ± 1.05 % respectively. The mean iron and lead values and their associations with other parameters in these groups are discussed. The results show that seminal plasma iron content is associated with the motility and viability of the spermatozoa after ejaculation, but its lead content has an adverse effect on these parameters.