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C18 The hunt for biomarkers in presymptomatic large animal model: mitochondrial metabolism in spermatozoa of transgenic minipigs modelling huntington’s disease
  1. Jana Krizova1,
  2. Hana Stufkova1,
  3. Marie Rodinova1,
  4. Monika Macakova2,
  5. Bozena Bohuslavova2,
  6. Antonin Pavlok2,
  7. Zdenka Ellederova2,
  8. Jan Motlik2,
  9. Jiri Zeman1,
  10. Hana Hansikova1
  1. 1Laboratory for Study of Mitochondrial Disorders, Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, General University Hospital and First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
  2. 2Laboratory of Cell Regeneration and Plasticity, Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics, CAS, v.v.i., Libechov, Czech Republic


Background Large-animal minipig transgenic model of Huntington’s disease (HD), carrying N-terminal part of human mutated huntingtin, was developed in Libechov and is expected to resemble to clinical picture of HD patients. Phenotyping of this model started immediately in presymptomatic stage. Despite of ongoing discussion, whether the glycolytic or mitochondrial metabolism (MM) is crucial for sperm ATP production; we decided to use spermatozoa as a promising biological material to assess MM parameters in HD.

Aims The aims of this study were: to optimise methods for MM measurement in minipig spermatozoa; to assess its MM and to establish possible biomarkers of HD.

Methods Semen samples were obtained repeatedly (12 boars, two generations, aged 12–65 months). Mitochondrial energy generating system (MEGS) capacity was measured by radiolabeled substrates oxidation, respiration by polarography and citrate synthase (CS) by spectrophotometry.

Results Three possibly interfering factors were statistically analysed: the effects of HD; generation and ageing. Eight analysed parameters were incident to distinct generation. These parameters were influenced also by the effect of ageing. MEGS incubation with [1–14C] pyruvate+carnitine+ADP was affected significantly by all analysed effects. Four MM parameters were significantly diminished in HD spermatozoa: [U-14C]malate+pyruvate+malonate+ADP (I2) and [1–14C] pyruvate+ADP incubations, I2/CS ratio and complex I-dependent respiration might be considered as biomarkers of HD.

Conclusions Used methods are suitable for MM analysis in minipig spermatozoa. Interestingly, spermatozoa can preferentially utilise pyruvate by sperm-specific isoform of lactate dehydrogenase. Our results in pyruvate-containing MEGS-incubations might indicate both MM and glycolytic defect in porcine HD spermatozoa, but further analyses are needed.

Support The Project Contract No. MSMT-28477/2014 “HUNTINGTON” 7F14308 and NPU 1609 (MSMT).

  • large-animal model
  • spermatozoa
  • biomarker

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