Lowered sperm quality associated with reduced superoxide dismutase activity in testis and spermatozoa has been observed in red deer from a mined area in South-central Spain. Here we present fatty acid profiles for testis and spermatozoa of deer from this mined area (n=29) and a control area (n=33). Despite elevated Pb in liver and bone of red deer from this area, concentrations in testis and sperm were not significantly higher than in control areas; however, Cu in testis was lower in mined areas. Testis from mined areas also contained higher percentages of linoleic acid (18:2n-6) and dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (20:3n-6), but lower arachidonic acid (20:4n-6). The percentage of 20:4n-6 was also lower in spermatozoa of deer from the mined area. Copper levels in testis correlated positively with the percentage of 20:4n-6. The imbalance in Cu homeostasis caused by metal pollution may have caused the observed effects on deer sperm.
Castellanos, P., Reglero, M. M., Taggart, M. A., & Mateo, R. (2010). Changes in fatty acid profiles in testis and spermatozoa of red deer exposed to metal pollution. Reproductive Toxicology (Elmsford, N.Y.), 29(3), 346-52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.reprotox.2010.01.005