Summary. Qualitative and quantitative characterization of lipoproteins found in seminal plasma from domestic cocks was performed after isolation by density gradient ultracentrifugation. Trigyceride-rich lipoproteins (very low, intermediate- and low density lipoproteins) were not detectable in seminal plasma. High-density lipoproteins (HDL), identified on the basis of size, chemical composition and protein moiety, were present at a concentration of 66 μg/ml. A fraction possibly corresponding to VHDL (very high density lipoproteins, 77% protein, 23% lipid) was also detected but appeared contaminated by a protein-rich opalescent material. Since HDL contains mostly phospholipid and cholesterol, the physiological role of these lipoproteins on the storage of fowl spermatozoa was studied. Replacing seminal plasma with a solution containing chicken HDL at physiological concentration (66 μg/ml) had no effect on fertilizing ability of spermatozoa stored at 4°C for 24 h. However, higher concentrations of HDL (560 μg/ml) had deleterious effects on spermatozoa stored in vitro.
Keywords: lipoproteins; chicken; seminal plasma; sperm storage; in vitro