Published: 2020-01-28

Effects of dietary energy level on reproductive characteristics in male African giant rat Cricetomys gambianus

Astride Martine Megnimeza Tsambou, Augustave Kenfack, Bertin N. Vemo, Séverin Fonkem, Lavoisier Tadiesse Fonou, Constant Fopa Foda, Alexis Teguia


Background: The study was conducted to assess the effects of the digestible dietary energy level on some reproductive characteristics in African giant rat.

Methods: Sixteen young males were randomly distributed into 4 groups of 4 animals each. To each group was attributed randomly one of the 4 dietary energy levels (3600 Kcal/kg, 3800 Kcal/kg, 4000 Kcal/kg or 4200 Kcal/kg). The daily distribution of experimental diets last six months, ie ended when cricetoma were 8 months old. At the end of that period, all animals were sacrificed.

Results: Results showed an increase in testes weight with the augmentation of dietary digestible energy level (0.79±0.13, 0.88±0.17, 1.02±0.28 and 1.02±0.16 respectively for 3600 Kcal/kg, 3800 Kcal/kg, 4000 Kcal/kg and 4200 Kcal/kg). The serum testosterone level, the sperm mobility (76.67, 62, 63 and 57%) and count per cauda epididymis (18.25±3.75, 16.38±4.19, 10.83±2.02 and 10.13±2.9) and per gram cauda epididymis (39.09±11.82, 27.01±4.23, 15.41±3.31 and 17.40±7.28) significantly (p<0.05) decreased with the increasing level of digestible energy in the feed.

Conclusions: The dietary digestible energy level that gave the higher reproductive performances in male African giant rat was 3600 Kcal/kg DM.


African giant rat, Cauda epididymal sperm characteristics dietary energy level, Genital organs, Testosterone concentration

Full Text:



Fonweban, Njwe. Feed utilization and live weight gain by the African giant rat (Cricetomys gambianus Waterhouse) at Dschang in Cameroun. Tropicultura. 1990;8(3):118-20.

Malekani. Guide technique de l’élevage n°8 sur les cricétomes. Gembloux N.E.D.I.M., FUSAGx. 2001;8.

Cooper RG. Care, husbandry and diseases of the African giant rat (Cricetomys gambianus). J. S. Afr Vet Assoc. 2008;79(2):62-6.

Balasubramanian P, Jagannathan L, Subramanian M, Gilbreath ET, Mohankumar PS, Mohankumar SJM. High-fat diet affects reproductive functions in female diet-induced obese and dietary resistant rats. J Neuroendocrinol. 2012;24(5):748-55.

Lie ME, Overgaard A, Mikkelsen JD. Effects of postnatal high-fatdiet expossure on puberty onset, estrous cycle regularity, and kiss peptin expression in female rats. Reprod Boil. 2013;13:298-308.

Dance A, Thundathil J, Wilde R, Blondin P, Kastelic J. Enhanced early-life nutrition promotes hormone production and reproductive development in Holstein bulls. J Dairy Sci. 2015;98(2):987-98.

Ros-Santaella JL, Kotrba R, Pintus E. High energy diet enhances spermatogenic function and increases sperm midpiee length in fallow deer (Dama dama) yearlings. R Soc Open Sci. 2019;6(6):1-13.

Ferguson. Nutrition and reproduction in dairy cows. Vet Clin North Amer Food Anim Pract. 1991;7(2):483-507.

Rekik A, Ben Gara A, Roussi H, Bakara FA, Grami A, Khaldi Z. Performances de croissance des agneaux de la race D’man dans les oasis Tunisiennes. Livestock Res Rural Develop. 2008;20(10):162.

Mu Y, Wen-jie, Yin T, Zhang Y, Li J, Yang J. Diet-induced obesity impairs spermatogenesis: a potential role for autophagy. Sci Rep. 2017;7:1-13.

Rosa JS, Omana J, Krishna PM, Shruthi I, Ramachandra SG, Thamaraiselvi K. Effect of feeding high fat diet on reproductive parameters in male mice. Indian J Anim Res. 2018:505-509.

Baril G, Chemineau P, Cognie Y, Guerin Y, Leboeuf B, Orgeur P, et al. Manuel de formation pour l’insémination artificielle chez les ovins et les caprins. In : Etude FAO, production et santé animale. Rome ITA: FAO. 1993;83:125.

Fungfuang W, Nakao N, Nakada T, Yokosuka M, Saito RT. Early onset of reproductive function in female rats treated with a high-fat diet. J Vet Sci. 2012;75(4):523-6.

Hussain MA, Abogresha NM, Hassan R, Tamany DA, Lotfy M. Effect of feeding a high-fat diet independently of caloric intake on reproductive function in diet-induced obese female rats. Arch Med Sci. 2016;12(4):906-14.

Jensen TK, Bonde JP, Joffe M. The influence of occupational exposure on male reproductive function. Occup Med. 2006;56:544-53.

Joshi SC, Sharma P. Male reproductive toxicity of organophosphorous compounds: a review. Toxicol. Environ Chem. 2011;93(7):1486-507.

Ibanez AC, Erthal PR, Ogo MF, Peres CNM, Vieira RH, Conejo C, et al. A high-fat diet during adolescence in male rats negatively programs reproductive and metabolic function which is partially ameliorated by exercise. Front Physiol. 2017;8:807.