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Sample records for posttesticular sperm maturation

  1. Posttesticular sperm maturation, infertility, and hypercholesterolemia

    PubMed Central

    Whitfield, Marjorie; Pollet-Villard, Xavier; Levy, Rachel; Drevet, Joël R; Saez, Fabrice

    2015-01-01

    Cholesterol is a key molecule in the mammalian physiology of especial particular importance for the reproductive system as it is the common precursor for steroid hormone synthesis. Cholesterol is also a recognized modulator of sperm functions, not only at the level of gametogenesis. Cholesterol homeostasis regulation is crucial for posttesticular sperm maturation, and imbalanced cholesterol levels may particularly affect these posttesticular events. Metabolic lipid disorders (dyslipidemia) affect male fertility but are most of the time studied from the angle of endocrine/testicular consequences. This review will focus on the deleterious effects of a particular dyslipidemia, i.e., hypercholesterolemia, on posttesticular maturation of mammalian spermatozoa. PMID:26067871

  2. Relationship between serum dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls and post-testicular maturation in human sperm.

    PubMed

    Paul, Raiza; Moltó, Julia; Ortuño, Nuria; Romero, Alejandro; Bezos, Carlos; Aizpurua, Jon; Gómez-Torres, María José

    2017-07-10

    The relationship between dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyl (DL-PCB) levels in serum and semen parameters were investigated. Our case-control included two groups of patients. Total concentrations of PCBs were significantly higher in the low semen quality (n=24) than in the normal semen quality (n=26) group. A significant negative correlation was found between PCB 126 and viability in men with low semen quality, while PCBs 77 and 81 were positively correlated with morphology, and PCB 118, mono-ortho and total DL-PCBs were positively correlated with volume. In the normal semen quality group, PCB 189 and 118 were negatively correlated with sperm motility and volume, respectively. In addition, positive significant correlations were found between PCB 77, 23 and total non-ortho PCBs with regard to morphology. Our findings suggest that sperm motility, viability, volume and morphology are parameters sensitive to alteration by exposure to DL-PCBs, although PCB effects on spermatogenesis were not of clinical significance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Post-Testicular Sperm Maturation: Centriole Pairs, Found in Upper Epididymis, are Destroyed Prior to Sperm’s Release at Ejaculation

    PubMed Central

    Simerly, C.; Castro, C.; Hartnett, C.; Lin, C. C.; Sukhwani, M.; Orwig, K.; Schatten, G.

    2016-01-01

    The fertilizing sperm’s lengthiest unchartered voyage is through the longest, least-investigated organ in a man’s body – the Epididymis. Over six meters long in men, ~80 meters in stallions and over one-hundred times a mouse’s body length, there are few functions known aside from sperm storage and nutrition. While spermatogenesis is completed in the testes, here we demonstrate sperm centriole reduction occurs within the epididymis. Investigations of GFP-CENTR mice and controls demonstrate both the presence of centriole pairs in the upper caput region of the epididymis and, the destruction, first, of the distal and, then, of the proximal centriole as the sperm transits to the cauda and vas deferens in preparation for its climactic release. These centrioles can neither recruit γ-tubulin nor nucleate microtubules when eggs are inseminated or microinjected, yet numerous maternally-nucleated cytasters are found. These sperm centrioles appear as vestigial basal bodies, destroyed in the mid-to-lower corpus. Post-testicular sperm maturation, in which sperm centrioles found in the caput are destroyed prior to ejaculation, is a newly discovered function for the epididymis. PMID:27534805

  4. The role of molecular chaperones in spermatogenesis and the post-testicular maturation of mammalian spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Dun, Matthew D; Aitken, R John; Nixon, Brett

    2012-07-01

    Spermatogenesis culminates in production of one of the most highly differentiated cells in biology, the spermatozoon. The gametes that emerge from the testes are, however, functionally immature and only acquire full functionality once they have completed a process of post-testicular maturation in the epididymis and female reproductive tract. Remarkably, this acquisition of sperm function occurs while these cells are transcriptionally and translationally silent and is therefore highly dependent on post-translational modifications to their existing protein complement. In this review, we consider the emerging roles of several prominent molecular chaperone families in orchestrating both the morphological differentiation of male germ cells during spermatogenesis and their functional transformation during sperm maturation. Journal databases were searched using key words, including chaperone, heat shock protein, testes, spermatogenesis, spermatozoa, epididymal maturation, capacitation and fertilization. In the past two decades, molecular chaperones have been acknowledged to play key roles in controlling both the morphological transformation of germ cells during spermatogenesis and the post-testicular maturation of these cells as they transit the male and female reproductive tracts. Furthermore, there is mounting evidence that aberrant chaperone expression may be a major contributing factor to the defective sperm function seen in many cases of male infertility. Molecular chaperones are critically involved in all phases of sperm development. Targeted disruption of these proteins has the ability to arrest spermatogenesis, compromise sperm maturation and inhibit fertilization. These proteins therefore hold considerable promise as targets for novel contraceptive strategies and as diagnostic biomarkers for male infertility.

  5. Post-testicular change in the reptile sperm surface with particular reference to the snake, Natrix fasciata.

    PubMed

    Esponda, P; Bedford, J M

    1987-01-01

    Sperm surface changes occurring in the reptile Wolffian duct have been explored with particular references to the snake, Natrix fasciata. In the snake Wolffian duct there are several proteins not present in serum, the pattern of which changes in concert with the seasonal testicular cycle. Whereas testicular spermatozoa did not bind antibody to duct secretions, all Wolffian duct spermatozoa did so over both head and tail, according to immunofluorescence patterns. Thus, on entering the Wolffian duct, the entire surface of N. fasciata spermatozoa acquires one of more of the duct's secretory components. As indicated by immunofluorescence, immunoelectrophoresis, and immunodiffusion, epitopes on at least some molecules that bind to spermatozoa or that remain free in the duct fluid are shared with those in other Natrix species, but not in more distant reptiles (turtle, anole lizard), nor chicken, rat, or rabbit. In regard to glycoproteins, one prominent con A-reactive band was present in polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) of snake fluid and more were evident in fluid collected from the turtle duct. However, such lectin-reactive elements did not bind to spermatozoa as judged by an absence of any change in snake, turtle and lizard sperm lectin-binding patterns in passing from the testis into and through the Wolffian duct. In all, evidence from these and other species studied begins to suggest that the nature of the post-testicular sperm surface modification displayed in most vertebrates that fertilize internally may differ in sub-therian and therian groups, respectively. There appears to be a relative emphasis on glycosyl-rich surface elements in the latter. The possible significance of these changes for sperm function in the different groups is discussed briefly in terms of sperm survival/storage, as well as capacitation and sperm binding to the zona.

  6. Biogenesis and function of tRNA fragments during sperm maturation and fertilization in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Shea, Jeremy M.; Boskovic, Ana; Derr, Alan G.; Bing, Xin Y.; Belleannee, Clemence; Kucukural, Alper; Serra, Ryan W.; Sun, Fengyun; Song, Lina; Carone, Benjamin R.; Ricci, Emiliano P.; Li, Xin Z.; Fauquier, Lucas; Moore, Melissa J.; Sullivan, Robert; Mello, Craig C.; Garber, Manuel; Rando, Oliver J.

    2016-01-01

    Several recent studies link parental environments to phenotypes in subsequent generations. Here, we investigate the mechanism by which paternal diet affects offspring metabolism. Protein restriction in mice affects small RNA levels in mature sperm, with decreased let-7 levels and increased levels of 5’ fragments of glycine tRNAs. tRNA fragments are scarce in testicular sperm, but are gained as sperm mature in the epididymis. Epididymosomes – vesicles that fuse with sperm during epididymal transit – carry RNA payloads matching those of mature sperm, and deliver RNAs to immature sperm in vitro. Functionally, tRNA-Gly-GCC fragments repress genes associated with the endogenous retroelement MERVL, both in ES cells and embryos. Our results shed light on small RNA biogenesis, and its dietary regulation, during post-testicular sperm maturation, and link tRNA fragments to regulation of endogenous retroelements active in the preimplantation embryo. PMID:26721685

  7. Monotremes provide a key to understanding the evolutionary significance of epididymal sperm maturation.

    PubMed

    Nixon, Brett; Ecroyd, Heath W; Dacheux, Jean-Louis; Jones, Russell C

    2011-01-01

    It has been widely accepted that mammalian spermatozoa are infertile when they leave the testes and require a period of maturation in both the epididymis and the female reproductive tract before acquiring the ability to fertilize an oocyte. However, the necessity for such a complex process of posttesticular sperm maturation appears to be unique to mammals because it is well established that these processes do not directly influence the fertilizing ability of the spermatozoa of birds, reptiles, and other lower vertebrates. Because of their key evolutionary position and form of reproduction, we contend that monotremes (platypus and echidna) provide a unique model for resolving why these processes are necessary. In the present review, we examine evidence that the epididymal maturation of monotreme spermatozoa is far less complex than in other mammals. However, a unique feature of the monotreme epididymis lies in its ability to promote the formation of elaborate sperm bundles that serve to greatly enhance the cells' motility. It is suggested that this intriguing cooperative strategy used by monotreme sperm represents an early form of epididymal maturation that appears to have been elaborated upon during the evolution of higher mammals, possibly as an adaptation for sperm competition.

  8. Is lithium essential for epididymal sperm maturation?

    PubMed

    Halder, Tanmoy; Datta, Uttam; Basu, Siddhartha; Mukherjee, Prasenjit

    2016-11-01

    A wider biological role of ultratrace element lithium in the mammalian reproduction has been reported, however, presence of lithium in the epididymal luminal fluid (ELF) and its influence on sperm during maturation events in the epididymal regions are still unknown. A pilot study was carried out in Jamunapari buck which revealed that levels of lithium in the ELF diminished gradually and significantly (P<0.01) from caput to cauda epididymis, concomitantly, a distinct increase (P<0.01) in the spermatozoan motility, viability and hypo-osmotic reactive sperm were observed, except spermatozoan motility that was found absent in the caput epididymis. Therefore, we hypothesize that levels of lithium in the epididymal regions is one of the motility initiation and/or regulatory factor for epididymal sperm maturation essential for acquiring fertilizing competence of sperm cells, hence, lithium could also be considered as one of the biomarker of sperm maturation in any species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Sterols in spermatogenesis and sperm maturation

    PubMed Central

    Keber, Rok; Rozman, Damjana; Horvat, Simon

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian spermatogenesis is a complex developmental program in which a diploid progenitor germ cell transforms into highly specialized spermatozoa. One intriguing aspect of sperm production is the dynamic change in membrane lipid composition that occurs throughout spermatogenesis. Cholesterol content, as well as its intermediates, differs vastly between the male reproductive system and nongonadal tissues. Accumulation of cholesterol precursors such as testis meiosis-activating sterol and desmosterol is observed in testes and spermatozoa from several mammalian species. Moreover, cholesterogenic genes, especially meiosis-activating sterol-producing enzyme cytochrome P450 lanosterol 14α-demethylase, display stage-specific expression patterns during spermatogenesis. Discrepancies in gene expression patterns suggest a complex temporal and cell-type specific regulation of sterol compounds during spermatogenesis, which also involves dynamic interactions between germ and Sertoli cells. The functional importance of sterol compounds in sperm production is further supported by the modulation of sterol composition in spermatozoal membranes during epididymal transit and in the female reproductive tract, which is a prerequisite for successful fertilization. However, the exact role of sterols in male reproduction is unknown. This review discusses sterol dynamics in sperm maturation and describes recent methodological advances that will help to illuminate the complexity of sperm formation and function. PMID:23093550

  10. Olfactory receptors are displayed on dog mature sperm cells

    PubMed Central

    1993-01-01

    Olfactory receptors constitute a huge family of structurally related G protein-coupled receptors, with up to a thousand members expected. We have shown previously that genes belonging to this family were expressed in the male germ line from both dog and human. The functional significance of this unexpected site of expression was further investigated in the present study. We demonstrate that a few dog genes representative of various subfamilies of olfactory receptors are expressed essentially in testis, with little or no expression in olfactory mucosa. Other randomly selected members of the family show the expected site of expression, restricted to the olfactory system. Antibodies were generated against the deduced amino acid sequence of the most abundantly expressed olfactory receptor gene in dog testis. The purified serum was able to detect the gene product (DTMT receptor) in late round and elongated spermatids, as well as in the cytoplasmic droplet that characterizes the maturation of dog sperm cells, and on the tail midpiece of mature spermatozoa. Western blotting further confirmed the presence of a 40-kD immunoreactive protein in the membrane of mature sperm cells. Altogether , these results demonstrate that the main expression site of a subset of the large olfactory receptor gene family is not olfactory mucosa but testis. This expression correlates with the presence of the corresponding protein during sperm cell maturation, and on mature sperm cells. The pattern of expression is consistent with a role as sensor for unidentified chemicals possibly involved in the control of mammalian sperm maturation, migration, and/or fertilization. PMID:8253843

  11. Dual function of the selenoprotein PHGPx during sperm maturation.

    PubMed

    Ursini, F; Heim, S; Kiess, M; Maiorino, M; Roveri, A; Wissing, J; Flohé, L

    1999-08-27

    The selenoprotein phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx) changes its physical characteristics and biological functions during sperm maturation. PHGPx exists as a soluble peroxidase in spermatids but persists in mature spermatozoa as an enzymatically inactive, oxidatively cross-linked, insoluble protein. In the midpiece of mature spermatozoa, PHGPx protein represents at least 50 percent of the capsule material that embeds the helix of mitochondria. The role of PHGPx as a structural protein may explain the mechanical instability of the mitochondrial midpiece that is observed in selenium deficiency.

  12. Experimental evidence that sperm maturation drives protandry in an ectotherm.

    PubMed

    Breedveld, Merel C; Fitze, Patrick S

    2016-09-01

    Protandry, i.e., the earlier arrival to breeding areas of males than females, has attracted a lot of scientific attention. However, evidence for the evolutionary hypotheses of protandry is surprisingly scarce. Here, we experimentally manipulate the time of emergence from hibernation of males, relative to females, in the common lizard, Zootoca vivipara. We test whether the timing of emergence affects sperm maturation and mating success, to disentangle among proposed selective advantages of protandry. Our results experimentally demonstrate that the timing of emergence affects the date of sperm presence. Moreover, the degree of protandry affected whether males had sperm upon their first encounter with females, but it did not affect the probability of copulating. Mating occurred independent of male fertility and mating during infertility was least common in early emerging males. Early emergence from hibernation by males, relative to females, thus increases the male's chance of fertilising eggs and later emergence from hibernation by females reduces the female's probability of mating with infertile males. These results point to direct reproductive benefits of protandry in males and females, where earlier emergence is predicted to increase the male's opportunities to inseminate mates, and later emergence reduces the female's probability of copulating with infertile males. This suggests that protandry evolved due to the time required for sperm maturation after emergence from hibernation.

  13. Is sperm motility maturation affected by static magnetic fields?

    PubMed Central

    Tablado, L; Pérez-Sánchez, F; Soler, C

    1996-01-01

    Kinematic parameters were evaluated in mouse epididymal extracts to monitor maturation of sperm movement in animals exposed to static magnetic fields using the Sperm-Class Analyzer computerized image analysis system. For this purpose, animals were exposed to a field of 0.7 T generated by a permanent magnet over 10 or 35 days for either 1 or 24 hr/day. The values of the motion endpoints were similar in animals used as controls and in those exposed to the nonionizing radiation, whatever the period of exposure or daily dosage. Changes in motility were observed in all groups: the percentage of total motile and progressive motile spermatozoa increased during passage through the epididymis, with major changes between the caput and corpus epididymides, and the pattern of swimming changed clearly towards more rapid and straighter trajectories. The processes of initiation of sperm motility and maturation of displacement patterns were not then affected by magnetic treatment. Moreover, it appears that sperm production is unaffected because no changes were observed in testicular or epididymal weights after exposure to static magnetic fields. Images Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. PMID:8959411

  14. Induction of ultra-morphological features of apoptosis in mature and immature sperm.

    PubMed

    Grunewald, Sonja; Fitzl, Guenther; Springsguth, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    There is a fundamental body of evidence suggesting that activated apoptosis signaling in ejaculated human sperm negatively influences their fertilization potential. However, it is still controversial whether this apoptotic signaling is a relic of an abortive apoptosis related to spermatogenesis or if it should be regarded as a functional preformed pathway in mature sperm leading to stereotypical morphological changes reflecting nuclear disassembly. To address this question, apoptosis was induced using betulinic acid in mature and immature ejaculated human sperm enriched by density gradient centrifugation. Execution of apoptosis was monitored by observing ultra-morphological changes via transmission electron microscopy. Typical morphological signs of apoptosis in somatic cells include plasma membrane blebbing with the formation of apoptotic bodies, impaired mitochondrial integrity, defects of the nuclear envelope, and nuclear fragmentation; these morphologies have also been observed in human sperm. In addition, these apoptotic characteristics were more frequent in immature sperm compared to mature sperm. Following betulinic acid treatment, apoptosis-related morphological changes were induced in mature sperm from healthy donors. This effect was much less pronounced in immature sperm. Moreover, in both fractions, the betulinic acid treatment increased the percentage of acrosome-reacted sperm. The results of our ultra-morphological study prove the functional competence of apoptosis in mature ejaculated human sperm. The theory of a sole abortive process may be valid only for immature sperm. The induction of the acrosome reaction by stimulating apoptosis might shed light on the biological relevance of sperm apoptosis.

  15. Sperm maturation in dogs: sperm profile and enzymatic antioxidant status in ejaculated and epididymal spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Angrimani, D S R; Lucio, C F; Veiga, G A L; Silva, L C G; Regazzi, F M; Nichi, M; Vannucchi, C I

    2014-09-01

    Spermatozoa become more susceptible to the attack of reactive oxygen species during maturation. To avoid oxidative damage, the epididymis must provide the necessary antioxidant protection. The aim of this study was to compare the canine sperm profile and the enzymatic antioxidant status of the ejaculated fractions and samples collected from the different segments of the epididymis (caput, corpus and cauda). Five adult dogs were used, and after 1-3 weeks, subsequently to bilateral orchiectomy and epididymal storage, sperm samples were collected from the different segments of the epididymis. Samples were evaluated for conventional microscopy and computer-assisted motility analysis: sperm plasma membrane permeability and the activity of the antioxidant enzymes catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Samples collected from the caput and corpus showed lower values for most of the motility variables evaluated, indicating different levels of immaturity. Catalase activity was observed only in ejaculated samples. Conversely, GPx activity was higher in the cauda epididymidis. Correlations were found between SOD and GPx and SOD and sperm motility in the epididymal cauda and corpus, highlighting the importance of the enzymes for the protection of spermatozoa during the transit along the epididymis.

  16. Electron microscopic observation of the sagittal structure of Drosophila mature sperm.

    PubMed

    Yasuno, Yusaku; Yamamoto, Masa-Toshi

    2014-09-01

    Observation of sperm development and determination of their morphological characteristics are very important to the understanding of phylogenetic relationships and the study of sperm function during fertilization. Although ultrastructural studies of sperm development in the testes of the fruit fly Drosophila have been performed, there are few reports describing electron microscopic morphology of mature sperm, that is, those released from the testes to the seminal vesicles. Here, we present the first report of the sagittal organization of Drosophila sperm head and neck regions by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The head and tail structures of a mature sperm, for example, the acrosome, nucleus, and flagellum, were easy to distinguish by the morphological characteristics of the sperm surface by SEM. The morphological relationships between the surface and internal structures of mature sperm were confirmed by observing longitudinal sections with TEM. Our approach overcame the technical difficulties involved in sample preparation for electron microscopic observation of the Drosophila mature sperm head, and therefore, this study serves as an important foundation for future genetic dissection of sperm ultrastructure and function in male sterile mutants.

  17. Sperm chromatin maturity and integrity correlated to zygote development in ICSI program.

    PubMed

    Asmarinah; Syauqy, Ahmad; Umar, Liya Agustin; Lestari, Silvia Werdhy; Mansyur, Eliza; Hestiantoro, Andon; Paradowszka-Dogan, Agnieszka

    2016-10-01

    This study aimed to evaluate sperm chromatin maturity and integrity of that injected into good-quality oocytes in an in vitro fertilization-intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (IVF-ICSI) program. A cut-off value of sperm chromatin maturity and integrity was developed as a function of their correlation to the zygote development, i.e., embryo formation and cleavage rate. The study assessed sperm chromatin maturity using aniline blue (AB) staining, whereas toluidine blue (TB) staining was used to assess sperm chromatin integrity. Ejaculates from 59 patients undergoing ICSI and 46 fertile normozoospermic donors for determination of normal values of sperm chromatin status were used in this study. Embryo formation and cleavage rates were observed for the period of 3 days after ICSI. There was a significant difference in the percentage of sperm with mature chromatin between ejaculate from ICSI patients and fertile donor (p=0.020); while there was no significant difference in sperm chromatin integrity of both samples (p=0.120). There was no significant correlation between sperm chromatin maturity and either embryo formation or cleavage rate; as well as sperm chromatin integrity to both parameters of zygote development (p>0.05). Furthermore, we found that the cut-off value of sperm chromatin maturity and integrity of the fertile normozoospermic ejaculates were 87.2% and 80.2%, respectively. Using the cut-offs, we found that low sperm chromatin maturity at the level of <87% correlated significantly with the cleavage rate of the zygote (p=0.022; r=0.371); whereas poor sperm chromatin integrity at the level of <80% correlated with embryo formation (p=0.048; r=0,485). In conclusion, this study showed that poor maturity and integrity of sperm chromatin (AB<87% and TB<80%, respectively), could affect zygote development following ICSI. AB: aniline blue; CMA3: chromomycin A3; ICSI: intra cytoplasmic sperm injection; IVF: in vitro fertilization; PBS: phosphate buffer saline; SPSS

  18. Immature and mature sperm morphometry in fresh and frozen-thawed falcon ejaculates.

    PubMed

    Villaverde-Morcillo, S; Soler, A J; Esteso, M C; Castaño, C; Miñano-Berna, A; Gonzalez, F; Santiago-Moreno, J

    2017-08-01

    Sperm morphometry is one characteristic which may be useful in prediction of fertility and sperm freezability in a species. Knowledge of the sperm characteristics of the ejaculate and the morphometric descriptors is necessary to effectively develop sperm cryopreservation. The aim of the current study was to provide a general description of the sperm from two falcon species (Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus peregrinus/brookei and Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus) including immature sperm, sperm head morphometric descriptors, and the existence of mature sperm subpopulations. Semen samples were collected by massage and voluntary false copulation and diluted with Lake and Ravie medium. Smears were prepared of the diluted samples, stained with Hemacolor(®), and subjected to: 1) morphological analysis (bright field optical microscopy), and 2) computerised morphometric analysis; each sperm head was measured for length, width, area and perimeter. In addition, in the Gyrfalcon, pooled semen was frozen in pellets using DMA as a cryoprotectant and the analyses repeated after thawing. The mean percentage of immature sperm (spermatocytes and spermatids) was similarly high in all species/subspecies: Brookei Peregrine falcon (F. p. brookei) 55.5%, European Peregrine falcon (F. p. peregrinus) 65.5% and Gyrfalcon 64.7%. Clustering analyses identified four subpopulations of mature spermatozoa with different morphometric characteristics (P < 0.001). The relative proportions of these subpopulations were similar in all three species. The mean values recorded for the morphometric variables of the four subpopulations were, however, lower (P < 0.001) in the thawed Gyrfalcon samples than in fresh samples. The results support the idea of pleiomorphy as a characteristic of raptor mature sperm. This finding, plus that of the existence of four sperm subpopulations with different morphometric characteristics, may be important in the future development of cryopreservation protocols for falcon

  19. Spermatogenesis, the mature sperm, and sperm egg association in Nematospiroides dubius

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, W. H., Jr.

    1974-01-01

    Nematode spermatogenesis was investigated using the strongyloid Nematospiroides dubius. The primary spermatocytes, development of spermatids, and changes in the sperm in the female tract are described.

  20. Adnexal Torsion during Pregnancy after Oocyte In Vitro Maturation and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Giulini, Simone; Dante, Giulia; Xella, Susanna; La Marca, Antonio; Marsella, Tiziana; Volpe, Annibale

    2010-01-01

    We report a case of right adnexal torsion during pregnancy after an oocyte in vitro maturation and intracitoplasmic sperm injection cycle in patient with polycystic ovary syndrome. A 31-year-old woman with a typical clinical disorder of polycystic ovarian syndrome was included in an oocyte in vitro maturation program. Right adnexal torsion occurred two days after embryo transfer, and laparoscopy detorsion was successfully performed with preservation of adnexa. The patient had a full-term pregnancy and delivered a healthy infant at 40 weeks of gestation. To our knowledge this is the first report of adnexal torsion after an oocyte in vitro maturation and intracitoplasmic sperm injection program. PMID:20814540

  1. Genetic variation for resistance to high temperature stress of mature sperm – a study in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Barker, J. S. F.

    2017-01-01

    Genetic variation for resistance to heat stress has been found for a number of life-history components in Drosophila species. For male and female fertility (or sterility), stress resistance of the parents is confounded with stress resistance of the haploid gametes. Many genes are known to influence male fertility in Drosophila melanogaster. Some may carry temperature sensitive alleles that reduce fertility through effects on mature sperm when exposed to heat stress. In this study, sperm from each of 320 males were either not heat shocked (control) or exposed to a heat shock (36.9°C for 2 hours) either in the male testes or in the female reproductive tract. We did not detect any temperature sensitive sterility alleles. These results are relevant in relation to haploid gene expression and the findings of considerable amounts of mRNA in mature sperm, potentially important for sperm function and fertilization. PMID:28358879

  2. Contribution of the secretory material of caecilian (amphibia: Gymnophiona) male Mullerian gland to motility of sperm: a study in Uraeotyphlus narayani.

    PubMed

    George, Jancy M; Smita, Mathew; Kadalmani, Balamuthu; Girija, Ramankutty; Oommen, Oommen V; Akbarsha, Mohammad A

    2005-02-01

    Caecilians are a unique group of limbless burrowing amphibians with discontinuous distribution. Several caecilian species are viviparous, and all practice internal fertilization. In amniotic vertebrates the sperm undergo post-testicular physiological maturation when they are initiated into motility under the influence of an epididymal secretion. Further, during ejaculation mammalian sperm are suspended in a fluid secreted by the male accessory sex glands, viz., prostate gland and seminal vesicles. Caecilians lack comparable glands, but still practice internal fertilization. Uniquely, male caecilians retain the Mullerian ducts in the adults as a pair of functional glands. It has long been hypothesized, based on indirect evidence, that the Mullerian gland would be a male accessory sex gland, secreting a fluid in which sperm are suspended during ejaculation and which would also provide nutritional support to the ejaculated sperm. In the present study, the secretory material of the Mullerian gland of Uraeotyphlus narayani was mixed with sperm obtained from the testis, and the changes in motility were recorded. Uraeotyphlus narayani sperm possess a perforatorium of the acrosome proceeding deep into the endonuclear canal of the nucleus. The midpiece is characterized by closely applied centrioles, the anterior ends of the axoneme and axial fiber, and a mitochondrial sheath. The long tail has an undulating membrane on one side, supported by the axoneme and an axial fiber. The live sperm possess a mitochondrial vesicle, also known as the cytoplasmic droplet, anywhere along the head and the midpiece, as in anuran sperm, which is shed from sperm that have ceased motility. Uraeotyphlus narayani sperm are motile the moment they are released directly from the testis, indicating that the sperm do not require post-testicular physiological maturation. On being mixed with the secretory material of the Mullerian gland, the spermatozoa are enhanced in speed as well as duration of

  3. Functional role of hepatocyte growth factor receptor during sperm maturation.

    PubMed

    Catizone, A; Ricci, G; Galdieri, M

    2002-01-01

    Mammalian spermatozoa acquire motility and fertilizing capacity during their transit through the epididymis. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a pleiotropic cytokine with potent motogenic capacities that has been identified in different organs, including the mammalian male genital tract. In mice, HGF is present in the testis and, in large amounts, in the distal part of the epididymis. In prepuberal rats, we have demonstrated that HGF is synthesized by the peritubular myoid cells and in men, HGF is present in significant quantities in seminal plasma. It has been suggested that in mice, HGF has a role in initiating sperm motility, whereas in men, no significant correlations between HGF concentration and sperm motility have been found. In the present paper we report that in rats, HGF receptor, c-met, is expressed in testicular and epididymal spermatozoa. Through immunocytochemistry, we have found that c-met is exclusively localized on the head in testicular sperm. A different localization of c-met has been found in sperm isolated from caput and cauda epididymidis. Cells isolated from epididymal caput show a c-met localization exclusively restricted to the head in most cells. In a minority of caput epididymis spermatozoa the receptor is localized both in the cell head and along the flagellum. Spermatozoa isolated from the epididymal cauda were quite homogeneous, showing the receptor localized along the entire cell surface. We also report that HGF is synthesized and secreted by the rat epididymis as indicated by the scatter effect of epididymal cell homogenate and culture medium on MDCK cells. To clarify whether HGF is involved in the acquisition of sperm motility in the epididymis, its maintenance, or both, spermatozoa isolated from caput epididymidis have been cultured in medium alone or supplemented with HGF. The results obtained indicated that HGF has a positive effect on the maintenance of sperm motility which, in the absence of HGF, significantly decreases during

  4. Glucose Regulated Protein 78 Phosphorylation in Sperm Undergoes Dynamic Changes during Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Lobo, Vivian; Rao, Parimala; Gajbhiye, Rahul; Kulkarni, Vijay; Parte, Priyanka

    2015-01-01

    GRP78, a resident endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone involved in protein transport, folding and assembly, has been reported in sperm. It is shown to be localized in the neck region of human sperm. We have previously reported GRP78 to be less phosphorylated in asthenozoosperm.The present study aimed to determine whether sperm GRP78 undergoes phosphorylation changes during epididymal maturation and whether there are any differences in GRP78 phosphoforms in asthenozoosperm vis-à-vis normozoosperm. Testicular- and cauda epididymal- sperm from adult male Holtzman rats, and semen ejaculates collected from normal and asthenozoospermic individuals were investigated. DIGE carried out to determine phosphorylation of GRP78 in asthenozoosperm and normal sperm reveals a shift in the location of GRP78 of asthenozoosperm towards the alkaline pH, indicative of reduced GRP78 phosphorylation. Immunoprecipitation studies using antibodies specific to GRP78, serine-, threonine-, and tyrosine phosphorylation and Pan phospho antibody demonstrates GRP78 to be phosphorylated at all three residues in rat spermatozoa. Phosphatase assays using Calf intestinal alkaline phosphatase and Lambda protein phosphatase followed by nanofluidic proteomic immunoassay (NIA) show that in rat, GP4.96, GP4.94 and GP4.85 are the three phosphoforms in mature (caudal) sperm as against two phosphoforms GP4.96and GP4.94in immature (testicular) sperm. In mature human sperm GP5.04, GP4.96, and GP4.94were the 3 phosphoforms observed. GP4.94[P = 0.014]andGP5.04 [P = 0.02] are significantly reduced in asthenozoosperm. Ours is the first report indicating GRP78 in sperm to be phosphorylated at serine, threonine and tyrosine residues contrary to published literature reporting GRP78 not to be tyrosine phosphorylated. We report the presence of GRP78 phosphoforms in rat- and human- sperm and our data suggest that GRP78 phosphorylation in sperm undergoes spatial reorganization during epididymal maturation. Significant

  5. Normozoospermic versus teratozoospermic domestic cats: differential testicular volume, sperm morphometry, and subpopulation structure during epididymal maturation

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez-Reinoso, Miguel Angel; García-Herreros, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Teratozoospermia (<40% morphologically normal spermatozoa/ejaculate) is a frequent phenomenon in feline species. This research was carried out to study the possible differences in testicular volume, differential sperm morphometric traits, and potential differences regarding the sperm subpopulational structure during epididymal sperm maturation in teratozoospermic feline donors. Epididymal sperm samples were collected from the caput (R1), corpus (R2), and cauda (R3) epididymidis in two donor groups (N: normozoospermic; T: teratozoospermic). Aliquots were assessed for concentration, viability, motility, and acrosomal integrity. Sperm morphometric descriptors from CASA-Morph analysis were analyzed by the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and clustering analyses. Irrespective of the group analyzed, PCA revealed two Principal Components (PCs) for each epididymal region explaining more than the 93% of the variance. Surprisingly, the number of subpopulations remained constant in regions R1-R2-R3 irrespective of the donor group analyzed. However, the distribution of these subpopulations was found to be structurally different and strongly influenced by the epididymal region and the donor group. In conclusion, testicular morphometry and the sperm subpopulation structure were different in N and T donors. The alterations in subpopulations during epididymal maturation could be used as a potential clinical indicator of teratozoospermic individuals since an important influence of teratozoospermia on sperm subpopulation structure has been demonstrated. PMID:27624990

  6. Post Testicular Sperm Maturational Changes in the Bull: Important Role of the Epididymosomes and Prostasomes

    PubMed Central

    Caballero, Julieta; Frenette, Gilles; Sullivan, Robert

    2011-01-01

    After spermatogenesis, testicular spermatozoa are not able to fertilize an oocyte, they must undergo sequential maturational processes. Part of these essential processes occurs during the transit of the spermatozoa through the male reproductive tract. Since the sperm become silent in terms of translation and transcription at the testicular level, all the maturational changes that take place on them are dependent on the interaction of spermatozoa with epididymal and accessory gland fluids. During the last decades, reproductive biotechnologies applied to bovine species have advanced significantly. The knowledge of the bull reproductive physiology is really important for the improvement of these techniques and the development of new ones. This paper focuses on the importance of the sperm interaction with the male reproductive fluids to acquire the fertilizing ability, with special attention to the role of the membranous vesicles present in those fluids and the recent mechanisms of protein acquisition during sperm maturation. PMID:20981306

  7. Effect of dilution in sperm maturation media and time of storage on sperm motility and fertilizing capacity of cryopreserved semen of sex-reversed female rainbow trout.

    PubMed

    Judycka, Sylwia; Ciereszko, Andrzej; Dobosz, Stefan; Zalewski, Tomasz; Dietrich, Grzegorz J

    2017-05-01

    Masculinized females, also called neomales or sex-reversed females have a male phenotype but retain the female genotype (XX). Therefore, all spermatozoa produced in their functional testes carry an X chromosome, which is desired for the production of all-female rainbow trout populations. Semen of sex-reversed female rainbow trout is of low quality and in vitro maturation is required, which includes dilution of sperm suspensions with specially formulated maturation solutions. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of dilution in different maturation media on sperm quality (sperm motility characteristics and fertilizing capacity) of frozen/thawed sperm of sex-reversed female rainbow trout. The effect of time of post-thaw storage (0, 15, 60 and 120min) on semen quality was also tested. Sperm motility parameters and fertilization rate at the eyed and hatching stages were assessed for post-thaw semen diluted in different media. The cryopreservation procedure resulted in high post-thaw sperm motility of about 57% and did not differ from fresh semen. Unexpectedly, maturation media decreased sperm activation capacity immediately after dilution; however, sperm motility increased over time. Fertilization rates of frozen/thawed semen were high (71-87%) and did not differ significantly between experimental variants at any of tested periods of storage. Our results demonstrated that the effect of the maturation media on frozen/thawed sperm is different from that of fresh sperm. The progressive increase in post-thaw sperm motility in maturation media can potentially be applied to routine hatchery practice. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Posttesticular development of spermatozoa of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii)

    PubMed Central

    SETIADI, DADI; LIN, MINJIE; RODGER, JOHN C.

    1997-01-01

    Tammar wallaby spermatozoa undergo maturation during transit through the epididymis. This maturation differs from that seen in eutherian mammals because in addition to biochemical and functional maturation there are also major changes in morphology, in particular formation of the condensed acrosome and reorientation of the sperm head and tail. Of spermatozoa released from the testes, 83% had a large immature acrosome. By the time spermatozoa reached the proximal cauda epididymis 100% of sperm had condensed acrosomes. Similarly 86% of testicular spermatozoa had immature thumb tack or T shape head-tail orientation while only 2% retained this immature morphology in the corpus epididymis. This maturation is very similar to that reported for the common brush tail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula. However, morphological maturation occurred earlier in epididymal transit in the tammar wallaby. By the time spermatozoa had reached the proximal cauda epididymis no spermatozoa had an immature acrosome and thumbtack orientation. Associated with acrosomal maturation was an increase in acrosomal thiols and the formation of disulphides which presumably account for the unusual stability of the wallaby sperm acrosome. The development of motility and progressive motility of tammar wallaby spermatozoa is similar to that of other marsupials and eutherian mammals. Spermatozoa are immotile in the testes and the percentage of motile spermatozoa and the strength of their motility increases during epididymal transit. During passage through the caput and corpus epididymis, spermatozoa first became weakly motile in the proximal caput and then increasingly progressively motile through the corpus epididymis. Tammar wallaby spermatozoa collected from the proximal cauda epididymis had motility not different from ejaculated spermatozoa. Ultrastructural studies indicated that acrosomal condensation involved a complex infolding of the immature acrosome. At spermiation the acrosome of tammar wallaby

  9. Posttesticular development of spermatozoa of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii).

    PubMed

    Setiadi, D; Lin, M; Rodger, J C

    1997-02-01

    Tammar wallaby spermatozoa undergo maturation during transit through the epididymis. This maturation differs from that seen in eutherian mammals because in addition to biochemical and functional maturation there are also major changes in morphology, in particular formation of the condensed acrosome and reorientation of the sperm head and tail. Of spermatozoa released from the testes, 83% had a large immature acrosome. By the time spermatozoa reached the proximal cauda epididymis 100% of sperm had condensed acrosomes. Similarly 86% of testicular spermatozoa had immature thumb tack or T shape head-tail orientation while only 2% retained this immature morphology in the corpus epididymis. This maturation is very similar to that reported for the common brush tail possum, Trichosurus vulpecula. However, morphological maturation occurred earlier in epididymal transit in the tammar wallaby. By the time spermatozoa had reached the proximal cauda epididymis no spermatozoa had an immature acrosome and thumbtack orientation. Associated with acrosomal maturation was an increase in acrosomal thiols and the formation of disulphides which presumably account for the unusual stability of the wallaby sperm acrosome. The development of motility and progressive motility of tammar wallaby spermatozoa is similar to that of other marsupials and eutherian mammals. Spermatozoa are immotile in the testes and the percentage of motile spermatozoa and the strength of their motility increases during epididymal transit. During passage through the caput and corpus epididymis, spermatozoa first became weakly motile in the proximal caput and then increasingly progressively motile through the corpus epididymis. Tammar wallaby spermatozoa collected from the proximal cauda epididymis had motility not different from ejaculated spermatozoa. Ultrastructural studies indicated that acrosomal condensation involved a complex infolding of the immature acrosome. At spermiation the acrosome of tammar wallaby

  10. Sperm nuclear expansion and meiotic maturation in normal and gynogenetic eggs of the scallop, Chlamys farreri

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Ying; Li, Qi; Yu, Ruihai; Wang, Rucai

    2008-02-01

    Sperm nuclear expansion, meiosis and the association of the male and female pronuclei leading to the four-cell stage in normal Chlamys farreri eggs were observed under a fluorescence microscope. The effects of ultraviolet (UV) irradiation on the fertilizing sperm were also examined. Both normal and UV-irradiated sperm nuclei enlarged at three distinct phases (phase A, metaphase I; phase B, polar body formation; and phase C, female pronuclear development and expansion) that were temporally correlated with meiotic process of the maternal chromosomes. Sperm nuclei underwent a rapid, initial enlargement during phase A, but condensed slightly during phase B, then re-enlarged during phase C. The effects of UV irradiation were not apparent during transformation of the sperm nucleus into a male pronucleus, and there was not any apparent effect on meiotic maturation and development of the female pronucleus. However, the rate of expansion of the UV-irradiated sperm nuclei and the size of male pronuclei were reduced apparently. Unlike the female pronucleus, the male pronucleus derived from sperm genome inactivated by UV irradiation did not form chromosomes, but became a dense chromatin body (DCB). At mitotic anaphase, DCB did not participate in the karyokinesis of the first cleavage as evidenced by chromosomal nondisjunction, demonstrating the effectiveness of using UV irradiation to induce gynogenetic scallop embryos.

  11. Proteomic Analyses Reveal a Role of Cytoplasmic Droplets as an Energy Source during Epididymal Sperm Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Shuiqiao; Zheng, Huili; Zheng, Zhihong; Yan, Wei

    2013-01-01

    A small portion of cytoplasm is generally retained as the cytoplasmic droplet (CD) on the flagellum of spermatozoa after spermiation in mice. CDs are believed to play a role in osmoadaptation by allowing water entrance or exit. However, many lines of evidence suggest that CDs may have roles beyond osmoregulation. To gain more insights, we purified CDs from murine epididymal spermatozoa and conducted proteomic analyses on proteins highly enriched in CDs. Among 105 proteins identified, 71 (68%) were enzymes involved in energy metabolism. We also found that sperm mitochondria underwent a reactivation process and glycolytic enzymes were further distributed and incorporated into different regions of the flagellum during epididymal sperm maturation. Both processes appeared to require CDs. Our data suggest that the CD represents a transient organelle that serves as an energy source essential for epididymal sperm maturation. PMID:24155961

  12. Comparative Proteomic Identification of Mature and Immature Sperm in the Catfish Cranoglanis bouderius

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Shaolin; Wang, Chao; Lv, Zijun; Zou, Jixing

    2016-01-01

    To understand the molecular responses of mature and immature sperm in the catfish Cranoglanis bouderius, we used the iTRAQ proteomics approach to perform proteomic profiling of spermatogenesis in C. bouderius. As a result, 1,941 proteins were identified, including 361 differentially expressed proteins, 157 upregulated proteins and 204 downregulated proteins in mature sperm relative to immature sperm. All of the identified proteins were categorized into seven types of subcellular localizations and three molecular functions and were found to be involved in nine biological processes. All of the differential proteins were involved in 235 different pathways. Moreover, we found that the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) pathway played an important role in the energy metabolism of sperm and that the EABB pathway was involved in the mechanism of spermatogenesis. Our study is the first to use the iTRAQ-based proteomic approach to analyze the catfish sperm proteome, and the results we obtained using this approach are valuable for understanding the molecular mechanisms of fish spermatogenesis. PMID:26964044

  13. Comparative Proteomic Identification of Mature and Immature Sperm in the Catfish Cranoglanis bouderius.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jintao; Zhou, Aiguo; Xie, Shaolin; Wang, Chao; Lv, Zijun; Zou, Jixing

    2016-01-01

    To understand the molecular responses of mature and immature sperm in the catfish Cranoglanis bouderius, we used the iTRAQ proteomics approach to perform proteomic profiling of spermatogenesis in C. bouderius. As a result, 1,941 proteins were identified, including 361 differentially expressed proteins, 157 upregulated proteins and 204 downregulated proteins in mature sperm relative to immature sperm. All of the identified proteins were categorized into seven types of subcellular localizations and three molecular functions and were found to be involved in nine biological processes. All of the differential proteins were involved in 235 different pathways. Moreover, we found that the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) pathway played an important role in the energy metabolism of sperm and that the EABB pathway was involved in the mechanism of spermatogenesis. Our study is the first to use the iTRAQ-based proteomic approach to analyze the catfish sperm proteome, and the results we obtained using this approach are valuable for understanding the molecular mechanisms of fish spermatogenesis.

  14. Ability of Catalonian donkey sperm to penetrate zona pellucida-free bovine oocytes matured in vitro.

    PubMed

    Taberner, E; Morató, R; Mogas, T; Miró, J

    2010-04-01

    An experiment was designed to study the interaction between fresh/frozen-thawed donkey spermatozoa and zona pellucida (ZP)-free bovine oocytes in an attempt to develop a model for assessing cryopreserved Catalonian donkey sperm function. Semen from five donkeys was collected using an artificial vagina. Sperm motility and viability were immediately assessed and the semen sample cryopreserved. Sperm viability and motility were then reassessed immediately after thawing. The motion characteristics of the fresh and frozen-thawed spermatozoa were determined using a computer-assisted sperm analysis system. In vitro-matured cow oocytes were inseminated with different percent live donkey sperm (high (>60%) or low (<40%) viability donkey sperm). After 18h of co-incubation, the oocytes were fixed, stained with 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) and examined for sperm penetration, the number of penetrated spermatozoa per oocyte, and male pronucleus formation. Frozen-thawed spermatozoa from high viability semen showed significantly lower VCL, VAP and mean ALH values than did high viability fresh spermatozoa. In contrast, frozen-thawed spermatozoa of low viability had significantly higher velocity values than fresh spermatozoa of low viability. A significant positive correlation (P<0.01) was detected between percentage fertilization and viability (r=0.84), and between percentage fertilization and certain CASA parameters (VAP, r=0.56; VCL, r=0.61 and mean ALH, r=0.68). Fresh or frozen-thawed high viability spermatozoa penetrated 90.1% and 85.4% of bovine oocytes respectively. Lower rates of penetration were observed for fresh and frozen-thawed low viability spermatozoa (34% and 22.5% respectively). The donkey spermatozoa were able to fuse with the oolema and even to decondense and form the male pronucleus (85-94%). Larger numbers of penetrated spermatozoa per oocyte were recorded when high viability sperm samples were used, whether fresh (3.02 vs. 1.12 for low viability sperm

  15. Mitotic chromosome condensation in the sperm nucleus during post fertilization maturation division in urechis eggs

    PubMed Central

    Das, NK; Barker, C

    1976-01-01

    Changes in the morphology of the sperm nucleus in the egg cytoplasm are mong the immediate events in nucleocytoplasmic interactions during early embryogenesis. Soon after its entrance into the egg cytoplasm, the sperm nucleus of various organisms increases in size with the transformation of condensed chromatin to a diffuse state, resembling the chromatin of an interphase nucleus (2, 13, 15, 16). This is followed by a close association or fusion of male and female pronuclei (2, 13, 15, 16). Cytoplasmic influences on nuclear morphology have also been demonstrated clearly in nuclear transplantation and cell fusion studies (10, 11). Reactivation of the nucleus, such as the transplanted brain nucleus in Xenopus egg cytoplasm or the hen erythrocyte nucleus in interphase cytoplasm of HeLa cells, is accompanied by nuclear enlargement and chromatin dispersion (10, 11). However, premature mitotic-like chromosome condensation takes place in the nuclei of sperm or interphase cells fused with mitotic cells (9, 12). Thus, chromosome dispersion and condensation seem to depend on the state of the cytoplasm in which the nucleus is present. These observations imply that the initial morphological changes in the sperm nucleus after fertilization may very well be dependent on the state of maturation of eggs at the time of sperm entry. Unfertilized eggs of Urechis caupo, a marine echiuroid worm, are stored at the diakinesis stage. These eggs complete maturation division after insemination and this is followed by fusion of male and female pronuclei (5, 8). Therefore, Urechis caupo is a suitable organism in which to study the response of the sperm nucleus to the changing state of the egg cytoplasm during and after postfertilization maturation division. PMID:54357

  16. Reactive oxygen species production and antioxidant enzyme activity during epididymal sperm maturation in Corynorhinus mexicanus bats.

    PubMed

    Arenas-Ríos, Edith; Rosado García, Adolfo; Cortés-Barberena, Edith; Königsberg, Mina; Arteaga-Silva, Marcela; Rodríguez-Tobón, Ahiezer; Fuentes-Mascorro, Gisela; León-Galván, Miguel Angel

    2016-03-01

    Prolonged sperm storage in the epididymis of Corynorhinus mexicanus bats after testicular regression has been associated with epididymal sperm maturation in the caudal region, although the precise factors linked with this phenomenon are unknown. The aim of this work is to determine the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and changes in antioxidant enzymatic activity occurring in the spermatozoa and epididymal fluid over time, in sperm maturation and storage in the caput, corpus and cauda of the bat epididymis. Our data showed that an increment in ROS production coincided with an increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in epididymal fluid and with a decrease in glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity in the spermatozoa in at different time points and epididymal regions. The increase in ROS production was not associated with oxidative damage measured by lipid peroxidation. The results of the current study suggest the existence of a shift in the redox balance, which might be associated with sperm maturation and storage. Copyright © 2016 Society for Biology of Reproduction & the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn. Published by Elsevier Urban & Partner Sp. z o.o. All rights reserved.

  17. Protein deubiquitination during oocyte maturation influences sperm function during fertilisation, antipolyspermy defense and embryo development.

    PubMed

    Yi, Young-Joo; Sutovsky, Miriam; Song, Won-Hee; Sutovsky, Peter

    2015-11-01

    Ubiquitination is a covalent post-translational modification of proteins by the chaperone protein ubiquitin. Upon docking to the 26S proteasome, ubiquitin is released from the substrate protein by deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs). We hypothesised that specific inhibitors of two closely related oocyte DUBs, namely inhibitors of the ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolases (UCH) UCHL1 (L1 inhibitor) and UCHL3 (L3 inhibitor), would alter porcine oocyte maturation and influence sperm function and embryo development. Aberrant cortical granule (CG) migration and meiotic spindle defects were observed in oocytes matured with the L1 or L3 inhibitor. Embryo development was delayed or blocked in oocytes matured with the general DUB inhibitor PR-619. Aggresomes, the cellular stress-inducible aggregates of ubiquitinated proteins, formed in oocytes matured with L1 inhibitor or PR-619, a likely consequence of impaired protein turnover. Proteomic analysis identified the major vault protein (MVP) as the most prominent protein accumulated in oocytes matured with PR-619, suggesting that the inhibition of deubiquitination altered the turnover of MVP. The mitophagy/autophagy of sperm-contributed mitochondria inside the fertilised oocytes was hindered by DUB inhibitors. It is concluded that DUB inhibitors alter porcine oocyte maturation, fertilisation and preimplantation embryo development. By regulating the turnover of oocyte proteins and mono-ubiquitin regeneration, the DUBs may promote the acquisition of developmental competence during oocyte maturation.

  18. Methyl-parathion decreases sperm function and fertilization capacity after targeting spermatocytes and maturing spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Piña-Guzmán, B; Sánchez-Gutiérrez, M; Marchetti, F; Hernández-Ochoa, I; Solís-Heredia, M J; Quintanilla-Vega, B

    2009-07-15

    Paternal germline exposure to organophosphorous pesticides (OP) has been associated with reproductive failures and adverse effects in the offspring. Methyl-parathion (Me-Pa), a worldwide-used OP, has reproductive adverse effects and is genotoxic to sperm, possibly via oxidative damage. This study investigated the stages of spermatogenesis susceptible to be targeted by Me-Pa exposure that impact on spermatozoa function and their ability to fertilize. Male mice were exposed to Me-Pa (20 mg/kg bw, i.p.) and spermatozoa from epididymis-vas deferens were collected at 7 or 28 days post-treatment (dpt) to assess the effects on maturing spermatozoa and spermatocytes, respectively. Spermatozoa were examined for DNA damage by nick translation (NT-positive cells) and SCSA (%DFI), lipoperoxidation (LPO) by malondialdehyde production, sperm function by spontaneous- and induced-acrosome reactions (AR), mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) by using the JC-1 fluorochrome, and fertilization ability by an in vitro assay and in vivo mating. Alterations on DNA integrity (%DFI and NT-positive cells) in spermatozoa collected at 7 and 28 dpt, and decreases in sperm quality and induced-AR were observed; reduced MMP and LPO were observed at 7 dpt only. Negative correlations between LPO and sperm alterations were found. Altered sperm functional parameters evaluated either in vitro or in vivo were associated with reduced fertilization rates at both times. These results show that Me-Pa exposure of maturing spermatozoa and spermatocytes affects many sperm functional parameters that result in a decreased fertilizing capacity. Oxidative stress seems to be a likely mechanism of the detrimental effects of Me-Pa exposure in male germ cells.

  19. Methyl-parathion decreases sperm function and fertilization capacity after targeting spermatocytes and maturing spermatozoa

    SciTech Connect

    Pina-Guzman, Belem; Sanchez-Gutierrez, M.; Marchetti, Francesco; Hernandez-Ochoa, I.; Solis-Heredia, M.J .; Quintanilla-Vega, B.

    2009-05-03

    Paternal germline exposure to organophosphorous pesticides (OP) has been associated with reproductive failures and adverse effects in the offspring. Methyl parathion (Me-Pa), a worldwide-used OP, has reproductive adverse effects and is genotoxic to sperm. Oxidative damage has been involved in the genotoxic and reproductive effects of OP. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Me-Pa on spermatozoa function and ability to fertilize. Male mice were exposed to Me-Pa (20 mg/kg bw, i.p.) and spermatozoa from epididymis-vas deferens were collected at 7 or 28 days post-treatment (dpt) to assess the effects on maturing spermatozoa and spermatocytes, respectively. DNA damage was evaluated by nick translation (NT-positive cells) and SCSA (percentDFI); lipoperoxidation (LPO) by malondialdehyde production; sperm function by spontaneous- and induced-acrosome reactions (AR); mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) by using the JC-1 flurochrome; and, fertilization ability by an in vitro assay and in vivo mating. Results showed alterations in DNA integrity (percentDFI and NT-positive cells) at 7 and 28 dpt, in addition to decreased sperm quality and a decrease in induced-AR; reduced MMP and LPO was observed only at 7 dpt. We found negative correlations between LPO and all sperm alterations. Altered sperm functional parameters were associated with reduced fertilization rates at both times, evaluated either in vitro or in vivo. These results show that Me-Pa exposure of maturing spermatozoa and spermatocytes affects many sperm functional parameters that result in a decreased fertilizing capacity. Oxidative stress seems to be a likely mechanism ofthe detrimental effects of Me-Pa in male germ cells.

  20. Lipid Rafts: Keys to Sperm Maturation, Fertilization, and Early Embryogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Kawano, Natsuko; Yoshida, Kaoru; Miyado, Kenji; Yoshida, Manabu

    2011-01-01

    Cell membranes are composed of many different lipids and protein receptors, which are important for regulating intracellular functions and cell signaling. To orchestrate these activities, the cell membrane is compartmentalized into microdomains that are stably or transiently formed. These compartments are called “lipid rafts”. In gamete cells that lack gene transcription, distribution of lipids and proteins on these lipid rafts is focused during changes in their structure and functions such as starting flagella movement and membrane fusion. In this paper, we describe the role of lipid rafts in gamete maturation, fertilization, and early embryogenesis. PMID:21490798

  1. Systematic identification and characterization of long non-coding RNAs in mouse mature sperm

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaoning; Gao, Fengxin; Fu, Jianbo; Zhang, Peng; Wang, Yuqing; Zeng, Xuhui

    2017-01-01

    Increasing studies have shown that mature spermatozoa contain many transcripts including mRNAs and miRNAs. However, the expression profile of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in mammalian sperm has not been systematically investigated. Here, we used highly purified RNA to investigate lncRNA expression profiles in mouse mature sperm by stranded-specific RNA-seq. We identified 20,907 known and 4,088 novel lncRNAs transcripts, and the existence of intact lncRNAs was confirmed by RT-PCR and fluorescence in situ hybridization on two representative lncRNAs. Compared to round spermatids, 1,794 upregulated and 165 downregulated lncRNAs and 4,435 upregulated and 3,920 downregulated mRNAs were identified in sperm. Based on the “Cis and Trans” RNA-RNA interaction principle, we found 14,259 targeted coding genes of differently expressed lncRNAs. In terms of Gene ontology (GO) analysis, differentially expressed lncRNAs targeted genes mainly related to nucleic acid metabolic, protein modification, chromatin and histone modification, heterocycle compound metabolic, sperm function, spermatogenesis and other processes. In contrast, differentially expressed transcripts of mRNAs were highly enriched for protein metabolic process and RNA metabolic, spermatogenesis, sperm motility, cell cycle, chromatin organization, heterocycle and aromatic compound metabolic processes. Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis showed that the differentially expressed lncRNAs were involved in RNA transport, mRNA surveillance pathway, PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, AMPK signaling pathway, protein processing in endoplasmic reticulum. Metabolic pathways, mRNA surveillance pathway, AMPK signaling pathway, cell cycle, RNA transport splicesome and endocytosis incorporated with the differentially expressed mRNA. Furthermore, many lncRNAs were specifically expressed in testis/sperm, and 880 lncRNAs were conserved between human and mouse. In summary, this study provides a preliminary

  2. Group III secreted phospholipase A2 regulates epididymal sperm maturation and fertility in mice

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Hiroyasu; Taketomi, Yoshitaka; Isogai, Yuki; Miki, Yoshimi; Yamamoto, Kei; Masuda, Seiko; Hosono, Tomohiko; Arata, Satoru; Ishikawa, Yukio; Ishii, Toshiharu; Kobayashi, Tetsuyuki; Nakanishi, Hiroki; Ikeda, Kazutaka; Taguchi, Ryo; Hara, Shuntaro; Kudo, Ichiro; Murakami, Makoto

    2010-01-01

    Although lipid metabolism is thought to be important for the proper maturation and function of spermatozoa, the molecular mechanisms that underlie this dynamic process in the gonads remains incompletely understood. Here, we show that group III phospholipase A2 (sPLA2-III), a member of the secreted phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) family, is expressed in the mouse proximal epididymal epithelium and that targeted disruption of the gene encoding this protein (Pla2g3) leads to defects in sperm maturation and fertility. Although testicular spermatogenesis in Pla2g3–/– mice was grossly normal, spermatozoa isolated from the cauda epididymidis displayed hypomotility, and their ability to fertilize intact eggs was markedly impaired. Transmission EM further revealed that epididymal spermatozoa in Pla2g3–/– mice had both flagella with abnormal axonemes and aberrant acrosomal structures. During epididymal transit, phosphatidylcholine in the membrane of Pla2g3+/+ sperm underwent a dramatic shift in its acyl groups from oleic, linoleic, and arachidonic acids to docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, whereas this membrane lipid remodeling event was compromised in sperm from Pla2g3–/– mice. Moreover, the gonads of Pla2g3–/– mice contained less 12/15-lipoxygenase metabolites than did those of Pla2g3+/+ mice. Together, our results reveal a role for the atypical sPLA2 family member sPLA2-III in epididymal lipid homeostasis and indicate that its perturbation may lead to sperm dysfunction. PMID:20424323

  3. Maturational changes in the survivability and fertility of fowl sperm during their passage through the male reproductive tract.

    PubMed

    Ahammad, Muslah U; Nishino, C; Tatemoto, H; Okura, N; Kawamoto, Y; Okamoto, S; Nakada, T

    2011-10-01

    The objective of this study was to examine whether domestic fowl (Gallus domesticus) sperm undergo maturation in their capacity for survival and fertilization in the male reproductive tract. Sperm collected from the testis, epididymis and the proximal, middle and distal vas deferens were simultaneously stored in vitro in minimum essential medium (MEM) at 39°C for 0, 3 and 6h, and at 4°C for 24 and 48h. Sperm membrane integrity was measured using the dual fluorescent stain SYBR-14/propidium iodide (PI). Aliquots of sperm from the various sites were subjected to artificial insemination (AI) into the uteri of hens to assess the duration of sperm survival in the oviduct and to determine the fertility status of the sperm. Testicular sperm exhibited a very low capacity to survive under in vitro liquid storage conditions, irrespective of the storage temperature used, and in the oviduct, and they had a low ability to fertilize the ovum. On the contrary, sperm from the distal vas deferens had a higher survival rate during in vitro storage periods, a longer life span in the oviduct, and high fertility. Survival and fertilizing capacity of the sperm recovered from the testes increased gradually (P<0.05) from the testes to the distal vas deferens. In conclusion, we suggest that fowl sperm may undergo functional maturation through a process of gradual changes in their survival and fertilization capacities during their passage through the successive parts of the male reproductive tract. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Epididymosomes: a heterogeneous population of microvesicles with multiple functions in sperm maturation and storage.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular microvesicles present in the epididymal fluid have been named epididymosomes. Many epididymosome-associated proteins are transferred to spermatozoa during their maturation in the excurrent duct. Epididymosomes are heterogeneous, with their size varying between 50 and 250 nm. Two distinct population of epididymosomes characterized by different protein compositions and diameters have been isolated from the bovine epididymal fluid using different centrifugation protocols. One subpopulation of epididymosomes was characterized by CD9 and other tetraspanin partners. Transfer of proteins from these epididymosomes to maturing spermatozoa in co-incubation experiments was inhibited by antibodies against tetraspanin proteins. This suggests that this subpopulation of epididymosomes is involved in the acquisition of proteins involved in maturation by spermatozoa in the epididymis. The other population of epididymosomes was characterized by ELSPBP1 (epididymal sperm binding protein 1), known for its affinity for the phospholipid choline group. Flow cytometric analyses showed that ELSPBP1-positive epididymosomes only interacted with dying or dead epididymal spermatozoa in a Zn 2 + -dependent manner. BLVRA (biliverdin reductase) was identified as a partner of ELSPBP1. This enzyme reduces biliverdin to bilirubin: two molecules with powerful anti-oxidant properties. We hypothesize that BLVRA is involved in an ROS-scavenging mechanism protecting live epididymal spermatozoa against detrimental molecules (ROS) released by dying cells. Therefore, it appears that there are at least two epididymosome population with distinct functions: targeting specific proteins to transiting spermatozoa by tetraspanin-mediated membrane fusion, and protection of epididymal spermatozoa against ROS released from dying cells. Further work is needed to understand functions of epididymosomes in epididymal physiology and sperm maturation and storage.

  5. Testicular descent, sperm maturation and capacitation. Lessons from our most distant relatives, the monotremes.

    PubMed

    Ecroyd, Heath; Nixon, Brett; Dacheux, Jean-Louis; Jones, Russell C

    2009-01-01

    The present review examines whether monotremes may help to resolve three questions relating to sperm production in mammals: why the testes descend into a scrotum in most mammals, why spermatozoa are infertile when they leave the testes and require a period of maturation in the specific milieu provided by the epididymides, and why ejaculated spermatozoa cannot immediately fertilise an ovum until they undergo capacitation within the female reproductive tract. Comparisons of monotremes with other mammals indicate that there is a need for considerable work on monotremes. It is hypothesised that testicular descent should be related to epididymal differentiation. Spermatozoa and ova from both groups share many of the proteins that are thought to be involved in gamete interaction, and although epididymal sperm maturation is significant it is probably less complex in monotremes than in other mammals. However, the monotreme epididymis is unique in forming spermatozoa into bundles of 100 with greatly enhanced motility compared with individual spermatozoa. Bundle formation involves a highly organised interaction with epididymal proteins, and the bundles persist during incubation in vitro, except in specialised medium, in which spermatozoa separate after 2-3 h incubation. It is suggested that this represents an early form of capacitation.

  6. Effect of low oxygen tension atmosphere and maturation media supplementation on nuclear maturation, cortical granules migration and sperm penetration in swine in vitro fertilization.

    PubMed

    Marques, M G; de Barros, F R O; Goissis, M D; Cavalcanti, P V; Viana, C H C; Assumpção, M E O D; Visintin, J A

    2012-06-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficiency of low oxygen tension (5% CO(2) , 5% O(2) and 90% N(2) ) on in vitro oocyte maturation using defined media (0.1% polyvinyl alcohol - PVA) or 10% porcine follicular fluid (PFF)-supplemented media. To achieve this goal, oocytes were evaluated regarding cortical granules (GCs) migration, nuclear maturation and sperm penetration. Oocytes were in vitro matured under different conditions: 5% or 20% O(2) atmosphere and 0.1% PVA- or 10% PFF-supplemented media and evaluated at 0 and 44 h of maturation. To evaluate the migration of CGs and nuclear maturation, by confocal microscopy, oocytes were incubated with 100 μg of FITC-PNA/ml and 10 μg/ml of propidium iodide. To address sperm penetration, after maturation, in vitro fertilization for 6 h and in vitro culture for 18 h, zygotes were incubated with 10 mg/ml Hoechst 33342. Pronuclei and polar bodies were quantified using an epifluorescence microscope. Atmosphere conditions did not affect the CGs migration, but media supplementation did. Oocytes matured in 10% PFF media had a higher percentage of CGs in the oocyte periphery than oocytes matured in PVA-supplemented media. However, this fact did not have effect on in vitro sperm penetration levels. No effect of atmosphere conditions and media supplementation was observed on the rates of metaphase II oocytes. Therefore, the use of low oxygen tension in association with PVA maturation media does not improve the in vitro maturation system of porcine oocytes, because its use did not improve nuclear maturation, CGs migration and zygotes monospermic rates. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  7. Effects of dietary energy on sexual maturation and sperm production in Holstein bulls.

    PubMed

    Harstine, B R; Maquivar, M; Helser, L A; Utt, M D; Premanandan, C; DeJarnette, J M; Day, M L

    2015-06-01

    In prepubertal bulls and heifers of dairy and beef breeds, puberty can be induced to occur earlier than typical with targeted high-energy diets due to precocious activation of the endocrine mechanisms that regulate puberty. Precocious activation of puberty in bulls intended for use in the AI industry has the potential to hasten and perhaps increase sperm production. It was hypothesized that feeding bulls a high-energy diet beginning at 8 wk of age would advance the prepubertal rise in LH and lead to advanced testicular maturation and age at puberty. From 58 to 230 ± 0.3 d of age, Holstein bulls received either a high-energy diet (HE;n = 9; targeted ADG 1.5 kg/d) or a control diet (CONT;n = 10; targeted ADG 0.75 kg/d). Thereafter, all bulls were fed a similar diet. The HE treatment increased LH secretion at 125 d of age, testosterone concentrations from 181 to 210 d, and scrotal circumference (SC) from 146 to 360 d of age relative to the CONT treatment. Beginning at 241 ± 5 d of age, semen collection (artificial vagina) was attempted every 14 d in bulls from the HE (n = 8) and CONT (n = 7) treatment until each bull attained puberty (ejaculate containing 50 × 10 spermatozoa with 10% motility). To assess semen production as mature bulls, semen was collected thrice weekly beginning at 541 ± 5 d of age until slaughter at 569 ± 5 d of age. After slaughter, epididymal and testicular measurements were collected and testicular tissue was fixed to determine seminiferous tubule diameter. Age at puberty did not differ between treatments (310 ± 35 d). Although testis and epididymal weight and testis volume were greater (P < 0.05) in the HE than the CONT treatment, sperm production of mature bulls did not differ between treatments. Diameter of seminiferous tubules also did not differ between treatments. We conclude that the HE advanced aspects of sexual maturation and increased testes size, but this was not reflected in hastened puberty or sperm production in the present

  8. Estimation of the optimal timing of fertilization for embryo development of in vitro-matured bovine oocytes based on the times of nuclear maturation and sperm penetration.

    PubMed

    Koyama, Keisuke; Kang, Sung-Sik; Huang, Weiping; Yanagawa, Yojiro; Takahashi, Yoshiyuki; Nagano, Masashi

    2014-05-01

    The objective of this research was to estimate the optimal timing for fertilization to achieve proper embryonic development of in vitro-matured bovine oocytes. First, cumulus-oocyte complexes were subjected to in vitro maturation (IVM) for 14-22 hr. The timing when 50% of oocytes reached metaphase II stage was estimated to be 17.5 hr after IVM start. Next, using oocytes subjected to IVM for 12-30 hr, sperm penetration was examined after 4-18 hr of in vitro fertilization (IVF). A significant negative correlation between IVM duration and the timing when 50% of oocytes were penetrated by sperm after IVF start was observed (P<0.01). Finally, oocytes subjected to 12-30 hr of IVM were inseminated and cultured for 6 days to examine embryonic development. In the group with 22 hr of IVM, the percentages of cleaved embryos and blastocysts were the highest values in all groups. According to the regression equation describing the time from nuclear maturation to sperm penetration (x) and the percentage of blastocysts (y) (y=7.23x - 0.297x(2), P<0.01), the blastocyst rate peaked when sperm penetration occurred at 12.2 hr after achieving nuclear maturation. In conclusion, under the present IVM/IVF conditions, it was estimated that oocytes acquired their highest developmental competence at about 30 hr after IVM start, and thus, the optimal IVM duration was calculated to be about 21 hr.

  9. Estimation of the Optimal Timing of Fertilization for Embryo Development of In Vitro-Matured Bovine Oocytes Based on the Times of Nuclear Maturation and Sperm Penetration

    PubMed Central

    KOYAMA, Keisuke; KANG, Sung-Sik; HUANG, Weiping; YANAGAWA, Yojiro; TAKAHASHI, Yoshiyuki; NAGANO, Masashi

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT The objective of this research was to estimate the optimal timing for fertilization to achieve proper embryonic development of in vitro-matured bovine oocytes. First, cumulus-oocyte complexes were subjected to in vitro maturation (IVM) for 14–22 hr. The timing when 50% of oocytes reached metaphase II stage was estimated to be 17.5 hr after IVM start. Next, using oocytes subjected to IVM for 12–30 hr, sperm penetration was examined after 4–18 hr of in vitro fertilization (IVF). A significant negative correlation between IVM duration and the timing when 50% of oocytes were penetrated by sperm after IVF start was observed (P<0.01). Finally, oocytes subjected to 12–30 hr of IVM were inseminated and cultured for 6 days to examine embryonic development. In the group with 22 hr of IVM, the percentages of cleaved embryos and blastocysts were the highest values in all groups. According to the regression equation describing the time from nuclear maturation to sperm penetration (x) and the percentage of blastocysts (y) (y=7.23x − 0.297x2, P<0.01), the blastocyst rate peaked when sperm penetration occurred at 12.2 hr after achieving nuclear maturation. In conclusion, under the present IVM/IVF conditions, it was estimated that oocytes acquired their highest developmental competence at about 30 hr after IVM start, and thus, the optimal IVM duration was calculated to be about 21 hr. PMID:24430663

  10. Can bovine in vitro-matured oocytes selectively process X- or Y-sorted sperm differentially?

    PubMed

    Bermejo-Alvarez, P; Rizos, D; Rath, D; Lonergan, P; Gutiérrez-Adán, A

    2008-10-01

    It has been reported that the mammalian female could have a preconceptual influence on the sex of her offspring, and it has been hypothesized that this influence could go some way toward accounting for the reported lower fertility following insemination with sex-sorted sperm. To test whether in vitro matured oocytes are able to select X- or Y-bearing spermatozoa following in vitro fertilization (IVF), we fertilized in vitro 1788 oocytes with X-sorted semen, Y-sorted semen, a mix of X- and Y-sorted semen, and unsorted semen from the same bull, and cultured until Day 9. Fertility was assessed by recording cleavage rate at 48 h postinsemination (hpi) and blastocyst development until Day 9. Embryos were sexed at the two- to four-cell stage and the blastocyst stage. The proportion of zygotes cleaving at 48 hpi was not different between X- and Y-sorted groups and the mix of X- and Y-sorted semen group; however, all were significantly lower than the unsorted group (P < 0.001). Blastocyst yield on Day 6 was significantly higher (P < or = 0.01) in the control group compared with the rest of the groups. Cumulative blastocyst yields on Days 7, 8, and 9 were also significantly higher (P < or = 0.01) in the unsorted group compared with the sorted groups. The proportion of female and male two- to four-cell embryos obtained following IVF with X- and Y-sorted sperm was 88% and 89%, respectively and the sex ratio at the two- to four-cell stage was not different following IVF with unsorted or sorted/recombined sperm (56.9% males vs. 57% males, respectively). At the blastocyst stage, similar percentages were obtained. In conclusion, the differences in cleavage and blastocyst development using sorted versus unsorted sperm are not due to the oocyte preferentially selecting sperm of one sex over another, but are more likely due to spermatic damage caused by the sorting procedure.

  11. The Drosophila chromosomal protein Mst77F is processed to generate an essential component of mature sperm chromatin

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    In most animals, the bulk of sperm DNA is packaged with sperm nuclear basic proteins (SNBPs), a diverse group of highly basic chromosomal proteins notably comprising mammalian protamines. The replacement of histones with SNBPs during spermiogenesis allows sperm DNA to reach an extreme level of compaction, but little is known about how SNBPs actually function in vivo. Mst77F is a Drosophila SNBP with unique DNA condensation properties in vitro, but its role during spermiogenesis remains unclear. Here, we show that Mst77F is required for the compaction of sperm DNA and the production of mature sperm, through its cooperation with protamine-like proteins Mst35Ba/b. We demonstrate that Mst77F is incorporated in spermatid chromatin as a precursor protein, which is subsequently processed through the proteolysis of its N-terminus. The cleavage of Mst77F is very similar to the processing of protamine P2 during human spermiogenesis and notably leaves the cysteine residues in the mature protein intact, suggesting that they participate in the formation of disulfide cross-links. Despite the rapid evolution of SNBPs, sperm chromatin condensation thus involves remarkably convergent mechanisms in distantly related animals. PMID:27810970

  12. Characterization of the injection funnel during intracytoplasmic sperm injection reflects cytoplasmic maturity of the oocyte.

    PubMed

    Krause, Iris; Pohler, Uwe; Grosse, Stefan; Shebl, Omar; Petek, Erwin; Chandra, Arvind; Ebner, Thomas

    2016-10-01

    To quantify cytoplasmic maturity on the basis of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) injection funnel manifestation and to evaluate influence factors of the latter. Prospective study. Private fertility center. A total of 31 patients with good ovarian response. Mature and immature oocytes were injected intracytoplasmatically. Formation and persistence of an injection funnel was documented and measured. ICSI funnel size, persistence of injection funnel, rates of degeneration and fertilization, embryo quality. Funnel volume in germinal vesicle stage oocytes (prophase I [PI]) was significantly smaller than that of metaphase I (MI) and MII oocytes. Immature eggs (PI, MI) almost never showed a persistent funnel 2-4 minutes after ICSI, whereas in MII eggs the funnel was still observable in 35% (117/334) of the cases. Uni- and multivariate analysis revealed that pipette type and stimulation protocol significantly influenced appearance of injection funnel. Funnel volume in oocytes that fertilized regularly was significantly higher compared with three-polar body and degenerated oocytes. Oocyte maturation within the follicle is closely associated with a remarkable change in cytoplasm viscosity from an aqueous to a more viscous subtype. Precise evaluation of the injection funnel may help to explain deviations from expected ICSI outcome and could also assist in optimizing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Bovine in vitro fertilization: in vitro oocyte maturation and sperm capacitation with heparin.

    PubMed

    Parrish, John J

    2014-01-01

    As a result of research in the 1980s on in vitro maturation, sperm capacitation, and in vitro fertilization, the bovine is now one of the important models for development. Further, the current production of bovine embryos in vitro rivals that of in vivo embryo production for commercial applications. Researchers of today may be unaware of why decisions were made in the procedures. This review addresses the state of the art at the time of the work by Parrish et al. (Bovine in vitro fertilization with frozen thawed semen. Theriogenology 1986;25:591-600), and how later work would explain success or failure of competing procedures. Important was the use of frozen semen and heparin capacitation, because this allowed future researchers/practitioners to change sperm numbers and capacitation conditions to adjust for variations among bulls. The large numbers of citation of the original work stand the testament of time in the repeatability and success of the procedures. The work was done within the environment of the N.L. First laboratory and the unique interactions with a large number of talented graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and technicians.

  14. Sperm Proteome: What Is on the Horizon?

    PubMed

    Mohanty, Gayatri; Swain, Nirlipta; Samanta, Luna

    2015-06-01

    As the mammalian spermatozoa transcends from the testis to the end of the epididymal tubule, the functionally incompetent spermatozoa acquires its fertilizing capability. Molecular changes in the spermatozoa at the posttesticular level concern qualitative and quantitative modifications of proteins along with their sugar moieties and membranous lipids mostly associated with motility, egg binding, and penetration processes. Proteomic studies have identified numerous sperm-specific proteins, and recent reports have provided a further understanding of their function with respect to male fertility. High-throughput techniques such as mass spectrometry have shown drastic potential for the identification and study of sperm proteins. In fact, compelling evidence has provided that proteins are critically important in cellular remodeling event and that aberrant expression is associated with pronounced defects in sperm function. This review highlights the posttesticular functional transformation in the epididymis and female reproductive tract with due emphasis on proteomics.

  15. Evidence for the involvement of zinc in the association of CRISP1 with rat sperm during epididymal maturation.

    PubMed

    Maldera, Julieta A; Vasen, Gustavo; Ernesto, Juan I; Weigel-Muñoz, Mariana; Cohen, Débora J; Cuasnicu, Patricia S

    2011-09-01

    Rat epididymal protein CRISP1 (cysteine-rich secretory protein 1) associates with sperm during maturation and participates in fertilization. Evidence indicates the existence of two populations of CRISP1 in sperm: one loosely bound and released during capacitation, and one strongly bound that remains after this process. However, the mechanisms underlying CRISP1 binding to sperm remain mostly unknown. Considering the high concentrations of Zn(2+) present in the epididymis, we investigated the potential involvement of this cation in the association of CRISP1 with sperm. Caput sperm were coincubated with epididymal fluid in the presence or absence of Zn(2+), and binding of CRISP1 to sperm was examined by Western blot analysis. An increase in CRISP1 was detected in sperm exposed to Zn(2+), but not if the cation was added with ethylenediaminetetra-acetic acid (EDTA). The same results were obtained using purified CRISP1. Association of CRISP1 with sperm was dependent on epididymal fluid and Zn(2+) concentrations and incubation time. Treatment with NaCl (0.6 M) removed the in vitro-bound CRISP1, indicating that it corresponds to the loosely bound population. Flow cytometry of caput sperm exposed to biotinylated CRISP1/avidin-fluorescein isothiocyanate revealed that only the cells incubated with Zn(2+) exhibited an increase in fluorescence. When these sperm were examined by epifluorescence microscopy, a clear staining in the tail, accompanied by a weaker labeling in the head, was observed. Detection of changes in the tryptophan fluorescence emission spectra of CRISP1 when exposed to Zn(2+) supported a direct interaction between CRISP1 and Zn(2+). Incubation of either cauda epididymal fluid or purified CRISP1 with Zn(2+), followed by native-PAGE and Western blot analysis, revealed the presence of high-molecular-weight CRISP1 complexes not detected in fluids treated with EDTA. Altogether, these results support the involvement of CRISP1-Zn(2+) complexes in the association of

  16. Delivery following intracytoplasmic injection of mature sperm cells recovered by testicular fine needle aspiration in a case of hypergonadotropic azoospermia due to maturation arrest.

    PubMed

    Lewin, A; Weiss, D B; Friedler, S; Ben-Shachar, I; Porat-Katz, A; Meirow, D; Schenker, J G; Safran, A

    1996-04-01

    This is the first reported delivery following intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) of mature live testicular sperm cells collected in a case of hypergonadotrophic azoospermia with maturation arrest. The 30 year old couple presented with primary infertility of 11 years duration, the man being submitted in childhood to five orchidopexy operations for the treatment of cryptorchism. He had elevated serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH; 18.8 IU/I), an atrophic left testis and a normal sized right testis, the biopsy of which diagnosed maturation arrest and focal scarring. The couple refused donor insemination for religious reasons and the only option was an attempt at testicular sperm collection. Multiple testicular and epididymal fine needle aspirations were performed, using an aspiration handle loaded with 20 ml syringe and 21-23 gauge butterfly needles. The mature spermatozoa recovered were used to inseminate the oocytes by ICSI. Prior to this procedure, the patient's wife underwent ovulation induction using a long protocol of mid-luteal gonadotrophin-releasing hormone analogue/human menopausal gonadotrophin (GnRHa/HMG). At oocyte retrieval, ten oocytes were recovered. Eight live sperm cells were recovered from the aspirates of the right testis. Following ICSI into four metaphase II and two metaphase I oocytes, one mature oocyte was fertilized, cleaved and was transferred to the uterus 48 h after oocyte retrieval. The patient conceived and delivered a 3300 g boy at term. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that this novel approach should be considered in cases with hypergonadotrophic azoospermia due to testicular failure. Further experience is needed to establish the exact criteria for its use.

  17. Influence of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) on the zinc content and redox state of protein-bound sulphydryl groups in rat sperm: indications for a new role of MIF in sperm maturation.

    PubMed

    Eickhoff, Regina; Baldauf, Christina; Koyro, Hans-Werner; Wennemuth, Gunther; Suga, Yasushi; Seitz, Jürgen; Henkel, Ralf; Meinhardt, Andreas

    2004-08-01

    The function of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in sperm maturation was studied by investigating its role in the biochemical maturation of the outer dense fibres. Rat sperm obtained from the caput and cauda epididymis were stimulated overnight with either recombinant MIF or MIF-containing vesicles originating from epididymal fluid at various concentrations. The zinc content of both the sperm and the medium was determined by means of atomic absorption spectrometry. Incubation in both recombinant MIF and vesicular MIF resulted in a statistically significant decrease of the zinc content in stimulated caput sperm of approximately 50%. In parallel, the conditioned media showed a clear increase in the concentration of this trace metal. The effect of MIF was less marked in cauda sperm. In addition, we demonstrated a statistically significant increase of detectable free thiol groups in the sperm mid- and principle piece in isolated rat sperm after stimulation with MIF at concentrations of 25 and 50 ng/ml. Our data suggest that MIF plays an important role in the maturation process of rat sperm during epididymal transit by inducing the elimination of zinc and affecting the amount of free sulphydryl groups in the sperm flagella.

  18. Nonylphenol reduces sperm viability and fertility of mature male breeders in Brown Tsaiya ducks (Anas platyrhynchos).

    PubMed

    Cheng, Min-Chien; Chiang, Hsin-I; Liao, Jiunn-Wang; Hung, Che-Ming; Tsai, Ming-Yang; Chen, Yu-Hsin; Ju, Jyh-Cherng; Cheng, Mei-Ping; Tso, Ko-Hua; Fan, Yang-Kwang

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of nonylphenol (NP), a widely used surfactant, on the reproductive performance of male Brown Tsaiya ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) (MBBTDs). Mature MBBTDs (n=100) were treated with NP by daily gavaging of 0, 1 (NP1), 10 (NP10) and 250 (NP250) mg/kg-BW/d for 14 wk. Semen quality, fertilization rate and specific factors in blood plasma were measured. Weights of organs were also measured at 14 wk after NP administration. Ducks from each treatment (n=4) were continually treated with NP thereafter for 12 mo to observe changes of tissue ultrastructure by microscopic examination. The results showed that ducks treated with amounts of NP of greater than 1mg NP/kg BW/d (NP1) for 14 wk had decreased sperm viability (32.3%) compared to those in the control group (74.1%, P<0.05). The fertilization rate of ducks treated with 250mg NP/kg-BW/d (NP250) for 14 wk was reduced (21.0%) compared to the control group (74.5%, P<0.05). Plasma aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activities were also greater in NP250 group at the 14th wk post-treatment. Plasma testosterone concentrations were increased by NP1 treatment at the 14th wk post-treatment. Administration at dosage 250mg NP/kg-BW/d for 12 mo resulted in reduced sperm counts (P<0.05) and histopathological changes, such as dilated seminiferous tubules (P<0.05) and degenerated spermatocytes (P<0.05). These findings strongly suggest that NP adversely affects the reproductive performance of MBBTDs. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Association among diameter and volume of follicles, oocyte maturity, and competence in intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles.

    PubMed

    Akbariasbagh, F; Lorzadeh, N; Azmoodeh, A; Ghaseminejad, A; Mohamadpoor, J; Kazemirad, S

    2015-10-01

    The follicular size has been considered for years as an index for oocyte maturity in stimulated ovulation cycles so that the time of initiating human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) has been formerly determined by the ultrasonography measurement of larger follicles. The other studies have demonstrated that there was no significant difference between fertility of oocytes aspirated from follicles with various sizes. The objective of this study to explore the associations among the size and volume of extracted follicles at the time of oocyte collection with the rate of collection, oocyte maturity, and oocyte competence in the intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) therapeutic cycles. This prospective study was performed on 412 stimulated ovulation cycles of 340 patients visiting the infertility center of Tehran Mirzakouchakkhan Hospital from September 2011 to February 2013, so that a total of 2324 follicles were investigated. The follicular diameter and fluid volume were measured then the follicles were classified into four groups regarding the aforesaid spatial dimensions. The association among the size and volume of follicles with the probability of oocytes collection, oocytes maturity, fertility competence, cleavage rate, and embryo quality was assessed. The majority of follicles (38%) were categorized in the group C with the follicle diameter of 16-20 mm and volume of 1-3 mm3. No significant difference was observed between these four follicle groups in terms of oocyte collection rate. There was a significant difference (P<0.05) between the group A (diameter>21 mm; volume>5 mm3) and group D (diameter<12 mm; volume≤1 mm3) regarding oocyte maturity and collection rate of metaphase II (MII) oocyte. Conversely, this difference was not significant between groups A, B (diameter=16-20 mm; volume=3-5 mm3), and C (diameter=12-15 mm; volume=1-3 mm3). The fertility rate of oocytes aspirated from small follicles was 55%, which is significantly lower than the fertility rate of

  20. The presence of centrioles and centrosomes in ovarian mature cystic teratoma cells suggests human parthenotes developed in vitro can differentiate into mature cells without a sperm centriole

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Bo Yon; Shim, Sang Woo; Kim, Young Sun; Kim, Seung Bo

    2011-11-18

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The sperm centriole is the progenitor of centrosomes in all somatic cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Centrioles and centrosomes exist in parthenogenetic ovarian teratoma cells. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Without a sperm centriole, parthenogenetic oocytes produce centrioles and centrosomes. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Parthenogenetic human oocytes can develop and differentiate into mature cells. -- Abstract: In most animals, somatic cell centrosomes are inherited from the centriole of the fertilizing spermatozoa. The oocyte centriole degenerates during oogenesis, and completely disappears in metaphase II. Therefore, the embryos generated by in vitro parthenogenesis are supposed to develop without any centrioles. Exceptional acentriolar and/or acentrosomal developments are possible in mice and in some experimental cells; however, in most animals, the full developmental potential of parthenogenetic cells in vitro and the fate of their centrioles/centrosomes are not clearly understood. To predict the future of in vitro human parthenogenesis, we explored the centrioles/centrosomes in ovarian mature cystic teratoma cells by immunofluorescent staining and transmission electron microscopy. We confirmed the presence of centrioles and centrosomes in these well-known parthenogenetic ovarian tumor cells. Our findings clearly demonstrate that, even without a sperm centriole, parthenotes that develop from activated oocytes can produce their own centrioles/centrosomes, and can even develop into the well-differentiated mature tissue.

  1. Migration of sperm cells during pollen tube elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana: behavior during transport, maturation and upon dissociation of male germ unit associations.

    PubMed

    Ge, Lili; Gou, Xiaoping; Yuan, Tong; Strout, Greg W; Nakashima, Jin; Blancaflor, Elison B; Tian, Hui Qiao; Russell, Scott D

    2011-02-01

    The promoter sequence of sperm-expressed gene, PzIPT isolated from the S(vn) (sperm associated with the vegetative nucleus) of Plumbago zeylanica, was fused to a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter sequence and transformed into Arabidopsis thaliana to better visualize the live behavior of angiosperm sperm cells. Angiosperm sperm cells are not independently motile, migrating in a unique cell-within-a-cell configuration within the pollen tube. Sperm cells occur in association with the vegetative nucleus forming a male germ unit (MGU). In Arabidopsis, GFP was expressed equally in both sperm cells and was observed using a spinning disk confocal microscope, which allowed long duration observation of cells without bleaching or visible laser radiation damage. Pollen activation is reflected by conspicuous movement of sperm and pollen cytoplasm. Upon pollen germination, sperm cells enter the forming tube and become oriented, typically with a sperm cytoplasmic projection leading the sperm cells in the MGU, which remains intact throughout normal pollen tube elongation. Maturational changes, including vacuolization, general rounding and entry into G2, were observed during in vitro culture. When MGUs were experimentally disrupted by mild temperature elevation, sperm cells no longer tracked the growth of the tube and separated from the MGU, providing critical direct evidence that the MGU is a functional unit required for sperm transmission.

  2. Analysis of protein thiol changes occurring during rat sperm epididymal maturation.

    PubMed

    Baker, Mark A; Weinberg, Anita; Hetherington, Louise; Villaverde, Ana Izabel S B; Velkov, Tony

    2015-01-01

    The maturation of spermatozoa throughout the epididymal environment occurs in the complete absence of nuclear protein biosynthesis. As such, these cells rely heavily on posttranslational modifications of existing proteins in order to obtain the potential for fertilization. We have used an OxiCat approach to label both free and oxidized cysteine residues in rat sperm proteins and compared the ratio of reduced:oxidized peptides as these cells undergo epididymal transit. In all, 20 peptides, corresponding to 15 proteins, underwent a change in their redox status. Included in this list were A-kinase anchoring protein 4 and fatty acid-binding protein 9. Both of these proteins undergo intradisulfide bonding, leading to reduced solubility and, in the case of the latter, is likely to cause a loss of protein function. Interestingly, two glycolytic enzymes, hexokinase-1 and lactate dehydrogenase, also display increased cysteine oxidation during epididymal transit, which may be involved in the regulation of the enzyme activities. © 2015 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  3. Hypotonic resistance of boar spermatozoa: sperm subpopulations and relationship with epididymal maturation and fertility.

    PubMed

    Druart, Xavier; Gatti, Jean-Luc; Huet, Sylvie; Dacheux, Jean-Louis; Humblot, Patrice

    2009-02-01

    Hypotonic resistance of boar spermatozoa was investigated by measuring the ratio of live/dead spermatozoa (SYBR-14/propidium iodide) by flow cytometry after hypotonic stress. The survival rate of ejaculated spermatozoa incubated in hypotonic solutions ranging from 3 to 330 mmol/kg followed a sigmoid curve that fitted a simple logistic model. The critical osmolality value (Osm(crit)) at which 50% of spermatozoa died was determined with this model. Hypotonic resistance of spermatozoa increased with temperature between 15 and 39 degrees C and decreased after hydrogen superoxide treatment, but was not modified during 8 days of preservation in Beltsville thawing solution. Hypotonic resistance markedly decreased during epididymal maturation and after ejaculation as Osm(crit) at 15 degrees C was 54.7+/-3.2, 68.5+/-10.6, 116.7+/-2.1 and 194.3+/-3.7 mmol/kg for the caput, corpus, cauda and ejaculated spermatozoa respectively. Hypo-osmotic stress of 100 mmol/kg revealed a sperm subpopulation exhibiting increased hypotonic resistance compared with the whole ejaculate (Osm(crit)=67.8+/-2.1 mmol/kg). Consistent differences were observed between lean and standard breeds (Pietrain versus Large White) and between boars within the same breed. According to data collected by artificial insemination centers during a large-scale field trial, hypotonic resistance of ejaculates was found to be positively correlated with in vivo fertility.

  4. Maturational changes in motility, acrosomal proteolytic activity, and penetrability of the inner perivitelline layer of fowl sperm, during their passage through the male genital tract.

    PubMed

    Ahammad, Muslah U; Nishino, C; Tatemoto, H; Okura, N; Kawamoto, Y; Okamoto, S; Nakada, T

    2011-10-01

    The objective was to examine, in vitro, the motility, acrosomal proteolytic activity (APA), and penetrating ability of fowl sperm recovered from the testis and epididymis, as well as the proximal, middle, and distal vas deferens, to assess the potential fertilizing ability of sperm as a function of maturation. A motile sperm separation technique was used to estimate sperm motility with Accudenz, a gelatin slide technique was used to measure the diameter of the halo around the acrosome of individual sperm as an indication of APA, and a sperm-inner perivitelline layer (IPL) interaction assay was done to estimate the number of hole formations as an indication of sperm penetration into the IPL. Sperm in the testis exhibited the least motility, produced the smallest halos, and created the least number of holes per 0.25 mm(2). Motility, diameter of the halo, and number of holes increased gradually (P < 0.05) from the epididymis to the distal vas deferens and were markedly different (P < 0.05) between testicular and deferent duct sperm. Based on these in vitro experimental findings, we inferred that fowl sperm undergo a gradual process of maturational changes in motility, APA, and penetrability as a means of acquiring potential fertility during their passage throughout the male genital tract. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Can the rapid identification of mature spermatozoa during microdissection testicular sperm extraction guide operative planning?

    PubMed

    Alrabeeah, K; Doucet, R; Boulet, E; Phillips, S; Al-Hathal, N; Bissonnette, F; Kadoch, I J; Zini, A

    2015-05-01

    The minimum sperm count and quality that must be identified during microdissection testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE) to deem the procedure successful remains to be established. We conducted a retrospective study of 81 consecutive men with non-obstructive azoospermia who underwent a primary (first) micro-TESE between March 2007 and October 2013. Final assessment of sperm recovery [reported on the day of (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) ICSI] was recorded as (i) successful (available spermatozoa for ICSI) or (ii) unsuccessful (no spermatozoa for ICSI). The decision to perform a unilateral (with limited or complete microdissection) or bilateral micro-TESE was guided by the intra-operative identification of sperm recovery (≥5 motile or non-motile sperm) from the first testicle. Overall, sperm recovery was successful in 56% (45/81) of the men. A unilateral micro-TESE was performed in 47% (38/81) of the men (based on intra-operative identification of sperm) and in 100% (38/38) of these men, spermatozoa was found on final assessment. In 42% (16/38) of the unilateral cases, a limited microdissection was performed (owing to the rapid intra-operative identification of sperm). The remaining 43 men underwent a bilateral micro-TESE and 16% (7/43) of these men had sperm identified on final assessment. The cumulative ICSI pregnancy rates (per cycle started and per embryo transfer) were 47% (21/45) and 60% (21/35), respectively, with a mean (±SD) of 1.9 ± 1.0 embryos transferred. The data demonstrate that intra-operative assessment of sperm recovery can correctly identify those men that require a unilateral micro-TESE. Moreover, the rapid identification of sperm recovery can allow some men to undergo a limited unilateral micro-TESE and avoid the need for complete testicular microdissection.

  6. Sperm plasma membrane remodeling during spermiogenetic maturation in men: relationship among plasma membrane beta 1,4-galactosyltransferase, cytoplasmic creatine phosphokinase, and creatine phosphokinase isoform ratios.

    PubMed

    Huszar, G; Sbracia, M; Vigue, L; Miller, D J; Shur, B D

    1997-04-01

    Sperm creatine phosphokinase (CK) concentrations and the synthesis of the CK-M isoform reflect normal spermiogenesis and predict maturity and fertilizing potential of ejaculated human spermatozoa. Immature spermatozoa, characterized by cytoplasmic retention and low CK-M to CK-B isoform ratios, are deficient in zona binding and fail to cause pregnancies. Because these sperm lack zona-binding ability, we examined in this study whether beta 1,4-galactosyltransferase (GalTase), a key element of sperm-zona interactions in mice, is diminished in immature human sperm. Unexpectedly, GalTase was overexpressed in immature sperm relative to mature sperm: the levels of cytoplasmic CK and plasma membrane GalTase were positively correlated (r = 0.78, p < 0.001, n = 88). Sperm populations with various levels of cellular maturity, prepared by Percoll gradients, had different CK and GalTase concentrations, but within each subpopulation the relationship between CK and GalTase was maintained (p < 0.01-0.001). GalTase activities in intact and vortex-disrupted sperm fractions were similar, showing that GalTase is present on the surface membrane of human sperm--similar to the situation in all other species assayed. The changes previously reported by our laboratory in zona-binding ability and lipid peroxidation rates (which occur simultaneously with cytoplasmic extrusion), decline in CK activity, and increased expression of the CK-M isoform are suggestive of a remodeling of the sperm surface concomitant with cytoplasmic maturation. The changes reported here in GalTase expression on the surface of maturing spermatozoa prove this hypothesis.

  7. Changes in Carboxy Methylation and Tyrosine Phosphorylation of Protein Phosphatase PP2A Are Associated with Epididymal Sperm Maturation and Motility

    PubMed Central

    Dudiki, Tejasvi; Kadunganattil, Suraj; Ferrara, John K.; Kline, Douglas W.; Vijayaraghavan, Srinivasan

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian sperm contain the serine/threonine phosphatases PP1γ2 and PP2A. The role of sperm PP1γ2 is relatively well studied. Here we confirm the presence of PP2A in sperm and show that it undergoes marked changes in methylation (leucine 309), tyrosine phosphorylation (tyrosine 307) and catalytic activity during epididymal sperm maturation. Spermatozoa isolated from proximal caput, distal caput and caudal regions of the epididymis contain equal immuno-reactive amounts of PP2A. Using demethyl sensitive antibodies we show that PP2A is methylated at its carboxy terminus in sperm from the distal caput and caudal regions but not in sperm from the proximal caput region of the epididymis. The methylation status of PP2A was confirmed by isolation of PP2A with microcystin agarose followed by alkali treatment, which causes hydrolysis of protein carboxy methyl esters. Tyrosine phosphorylation of sperm PP2A varied inversely with methylation. That is, PP2A was tyrosine phosphorylated when it was demethylated but not when methylated. PP2A demethylation and its reciprocal tyrosine phosphorylation were also affected by treatment of sperm with L-homocysteine and adenosine, which are known to elevate intracellular S-adenosylhomocysteine, a feedback inhibitor of methyltransferases. Catalytic activity of PP2A declined during epididymal sperm maturation. Inhibition of PP2A by okadaic acid or by incubation of caudal epididymal spermatozoa with L-homocysteine and adenosine resulted in increase of sperm motility parameters including percent motility, velocity, and lateral head amplitude. Demethylation or pharmacological inhibition of PP2A also leads to an increase in phosphorylation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3). Our results show for the first time that changes in PP2A activity due to methylation and tyrosine phosphorylation occur in sperm and that these changes may play an important role in the regulation of sperm function. PMID:26569399

  8. Positive rheotaxis extended drop: a one-step procedure to select and recover sperm with mature chromatin for intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    PubMed

    De Martin, Hamilton; Cocuzza, Marcello S; Tiseo, Bruno C; Wood, Guilherme J A; Miranda, Eduardo P; Monteleone, Pedro A A; Soares, José Maria; Serafini, Paulo C; Srougi, Miguel; Baracat, Edmund C

    2017-09-19

    The purpose of this study was to develop a novel one-step ICSI approach to select sperm with better chromatin maturity than the conventional method. This was a pilot diagnostic study, which prospectively recruited men during a 6-month period in a University-affiliated infertility centre. Forty consecutive semen samples were provided for analysis. The positive rheotaxis extended drop (PRED) was set up creating a pressure and viscosity gradient. Each semen sample was divided into four aliquots: one aliquot for density gradient centrifugation (DGC), two aliquots for PRED (fresh semen (PRED-FS) and processed semen (PRED-DGC)), and one aliquot as the control (FS). In PRED, a mean of 200 spermatozoa were collected consecutively without selection from the outlet reservoir. The aniline blue assay was used to assess chromatin immaturity. The mean channel length, measured from inlet to outlet, was 32.55 ± 0.86 mm, with a mean width of 1.04 ± 0.21 mm. In 82.5% of cases (33/40), at least 50 spermatozoa were captured between 15 and 30 min. Improved chromatin maturity after the DGC preparation and the PRED approach was observed in all samples. This was reflected by a mean reduction from 28.65 ± 8.97% uncondensed chromatin in the native ejaculates to 17.29 ± 7.72% in DGC and 0.89 ± 1.31% in the PRED approach (P < 0.01). The PRED method may improve the current ICSI technique by providing it with its own sperm selection process. ICSI would probably become an even more complete technique comprising selection, capture and injection of the male gamete.

  9. Birth after human chorionic gonadotropin-primed oocyte in vitro maturation and fertilization with testicular sperm in a normo-ovulatory patient

    PubMed Central

    González-Ortega, Claudia; Piña-Aguilar, Raul Eduardo; Cancino-Villareal, Patricia; Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, Antonio Martin

    2016-01-01

    In this report, we present a case of in vitro maturation (IVM) with surgical retrieved testicular sperm in a normo-ovulatory female. Human chorionic gonadotropin-primed IVM, testicular biopsy for sperm retrieval and intracytoplasmic sperm injection with fresh sperm were performed. Fourteen cumulus-oocyte complexes were obtained in germinal vesicle or metaphase I stage, eight oocytes reached metaphase II, seven presumptive zygotes were obtained, and three cleavage stages embryos in day 2 were transferred producing a singleton pregnancy. A single healthy newborn was obtained. Our results suggest that IVM may be an alternative for in vitro fertilization in normo-ovulatory women even if surgical retrieval of sperm is needed. Further research is required to depict contributing factors to the success of IVM in indications different from polycystic ovaries syndrome and the role of male gamete. PMID:27803591

  10. Merlin Isoforms 1 and 2 Both Act as Tumour Suppressors and Are Required for Optimal Sperm Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Zoch, Ansgar; Mayerl, Steffen; Schulz, Alexander; Greither, Thomas; Frappart, Lucien; Rübsam, Juliane; Heuer, Heike; Giovannini, Marco; Morrison, Helen

    2015-01-01

    The tumour suppressor Merlin, encoded by the gene NF2, is frequently mutated in the autosomal dominant disorder neurofibromatosis type II, characterised primarily by the development of schwannoma and other glial cell tumours. However, NF2 is expressed in virtually all analysed human and rodent organs, and its deletion in mice causes early embryonic lethality. Additionally, NF2 encodes for two major isoforms of Merlin of unknown functionality. Specifically, the tumour suppressor potential of isoform 2 remains controversial. In this study, we used Nf2 isoform-specific knockout mouse models to analyse the function of each isoform during development and organ homeostasis. We found that both isoforms carry full tumour suppressor functionality and can completely compensate the loss of the other isoform during development and in most adult organs. Surprisingly, we discovered that spermatogenesis is strictly dependent on the presence of both isoforms. While the testis primarily expresses isoform 1, we noticed an enrichment of isoform 2 in spermatogonial stem cells. Deletion of either isoform was found to cause decreased sperm quality as observed by maturation defects and head/midpiece abnormalities. These defects led to impaired sperm functionality as assessed by decreased sperm capacitation. Thus, we describe spermatogenesis as a new Nf2-dependent process. Additionally, we provide for the first time in vivo evidence for equal tumour suppressor potentials of Merlin isoform 1 and isoform 2. PMID:26258444

  11. Fine structure of acrosome biogenesis and of mature sperm in the bivalve molluscs Glycymeris sp. (Pteriomorphia) and Eurhomalea rufa (Heterodonta)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerra, Rosa; Sousa, Mário; Torres, Artur; Oliveira, Elsa; Baldaia, Luis

    2003-03-01

    Proacrosomal vesicles form during the pachytene stage, being synthetized by the Golgi complex in Glycymeris sp., and by both the Golgi and the rough endoplasmic reticulum in Eurhomalea rufa. During early spermiogenesis, a single acrosomal vesicle forms and its apex becomes linked to the plasma membrane while it migrates. In Glycymeris sp., the acrosomal vesicle then turns cap-shaped (1.8 μm) and acquires a complex substructure. In E. rufa, proacrosomal vesicles differentiate their contents while still at the premeiotic stage; as the acrosomal vesicle matures and its contents further differentiate, it elongates and becomes longer than the nucleus (3.2 μm), while the subacrosomal space develops a perforatorium. Before condensation, chromatin turns fibrillar in Glycymeris sp., whereas it acquires a cordonal pattern in E. rufa. Accordingly, the sperm nucleus of Glycymeris sp. is conical and elongated (8.3 μm), and that of E. rufa is short and ovoid (1.1 μm). In the midpiece (Glycymeris sp.: 1.1 μm; E. rufa: 0.8 μm), both species have four mitochondria encircling two linked orthogonal (Glycymeris sp.) or orthogonal and tilted (30-40°; E. rufa) centrioles. In comparison with other Arcoida species, sperm of Glycymeris sp. appear distinct due to the presence of an elongated nucleus, a highly differentiated acrosome, and four instead of five mitochondria. The same occurs with E. rufa regarding other Veneracea species, with the acrosome of the mature sperm strongly resembling that of the recent Mytilinae.

  12. Effect of oocyte maturation time, sperm selection method and oxygen tension on in vitro embryo development in alpacas.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Jaime; Paulo Santayana, R; José Mendoza, M; Leandra Landeo, J; Huamán, Elizabeth; Ticllacuri, Flamel; Fidel Mujica, L; Silva, Mauricio; Ratto, Marcelo H

    2017-06-01

    We evaluated the effect of in vitro maturation time, sperm selection and oxygen tension on alpaca embryo development. In Experiment I, Cumulus Oocyte- Complexes (COCs) were obtained from abattoir ovaries and in vitro matured in TCM-199 for 24 (n = 217), 28 (215), or 32 h (223) at 38.5 °C, high humidity and 5% CO2 in air. Oocytes from 24 (n = 392), 28 (n = 456) or 32 (n = 368) h groups were in vitro fertilized with epididymal sperm and cultured in SOFaa at 38.5 °C, high humidity and 5% CO2, 5% O2 and 90% N2 for 7 days. Embryo development was evaluated on Day 2, 5 and Day 7 of in vitro culture (Day 0 = in vitro fertilization). In Experiment II, a 2 by 2-factorial design was used to determine the effect of sperm selection (Swim-up vs Percoll) and oxygen tension (20% vs 5%) during embryo culture and their interaction on embryo development. COCs were in vitro matured for 32 h at 38.5 °C and 5% CO2 in air and then in vitro inseminated with epididymal sperm processed by swim-up or Percoll. Zygotes were cultured in SOFaa + cumulus cells at 38.5 °C under 20 or 5% of O2 tension and high humidity for 7 days. A total of 235, 235, 253 and 240 oocytes were assigned to: swim-up+20 O2, swim-up+5 O2 or Percoll+20 O2, Percoll+5 O2, groups respectively. The proportion of oocytes reaching MII stage was highest after 32 h of in vitro maturation (P < 0.05). Blastocyst rate (29.1 ± 2.7%) was also highest for COCs matured for 32 h (Exp I). In Experiment II, Blastocysts rate (26.03 ± 4.7; 27.7 ± 4.3; 29.7 ± 3.8 and 27.6 ± 4.2% for swim-up+20 O2, swim-up+5 O2 or Percoll+20 O2, Percoll+5 O2, respectively) was not affected by sperm selection method (P = 0.8), oxygen tension (P = 0.9) or their interaction (P = 0.5). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Effects of sperm insemination on the final meiotic maturation of mouse oocytes arrested at metaphase I after in vitro maturation.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Jeong; Juhn, Kyoung-Mi; Yoon, San-Hyun; Ko, Yong; Lim, Jin-Ho

    2017-03-01

    The aims of this study were to investigate whether fertilization could induce the resumption of meiosis in mouse oocytes arrested at metaphase I (MI) after in vitro maturation (IVM), and to investigate the effect of Ca(2)(+) chelator treatment at the time of fertilization on the transition from MI to metaphase II (MII). MII-stage and arrested MI-stage mouse oocytes after IVM were fertilized, and then embryonic development was monitored. Blastocysts from each group were transferred into 2.5 days post-coitum pseudo-pregnant ICR mice. MI oocytes after IVM were treated with a Ca(2)(+) chelator to investigate the effect of Ca(2)(+) oscillations on their maturation. As insemination time increased, the number of oocytes in the MI group that reached the MII stage also increased. The blastocyst rates and total cell numbers in the MII group were significantly higher than in the MI group. No pregnancy occurred in the MI group, but 10 pregnancies were achieved (10 of 12) in the MII group. The proportion of MI oocytes that matured to MII oocytes after fertilization was significantly higher in the non-treated group than in the Ca(2)(+) chelator-treated group. The findings that a higher proportion of MI-arrested oocytes progressed to MII after fertilization and that the MI-to-MII transition was blocked by Ca(2)(+) chelator treatments before fertilization indicate that the maturation of MI oocytes to MII oocytes is associated with intracellular Ca(2)(+) oscillations driven by fertilization.

  14. In vitro maturation and intracytoplasmic sperm injection of oocytes collected from hormonally stimulated common wombats, Vombatus ursinus.

    PubMed

    West, M; Lacham-Kaplan, O; Cleary, M; Galloway, D; Shaw, J; Trounson, A O; Paris, M C J

    2007-04-01

    Porcine FSH/LH stimulation successfully induced development of multiple large (>or=4mm) antral follicles in 10 of 11 common wombats. A mean of 5.5 metaphase II (MII) oocytes were aspirated from wombats that were stimulated during the follicular phase of the oestrous cycle (n=3) or after pouch young removal (n=3). Three subadults (n=3) and two anoestrus adults did not produce MII oocytes despite pFSH/pLH administration. In vitro maturation of immature oocytes at the time of aspiration doubled the number of MII oocytes that could be collected from pFSH/pLH stimulated wombats. Immature oocytes with cumulus attached, matured more readily to the MII stage than immature oocytes without cumulus. Following intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), approximately 5% of the oocytes that were MII at the time of collection cleaved. Approximately 5% of those that were matured by in vitro maturation (IVM) formed two polar bodies following ICSI, although they not cleave. Parthenogenesis cannot be excluded. This demonstrates that assisted reproductive technologies may be applicable to the common wombat.

  15. Effects of sperm insemination on the final meiotic maturation of mouse oocytes arrested at metaphase I after in vitro maturation

    PubMed Central

    Yoon, Jeong; Juhn, Kyoung-Mi; Yoon, San-Hyun; Lim, Jin-Ho

    2017-01-01

    Objective The aims of this study were to investigate whether fertilization could induce the resumption of meiosis in mouse oocytes arrested at metaphase I (MI) after in vitro maturation (IVM), and to investigate the effect of Ca2+ chelator treatment at the time of fertilization on the transition from MI to metaphase II (MII). Methods MII-stage and arrested MI-stage mouse oocytes after IVM were fertilized, and then embryonic development was monitored. Blastocysts from each group were transferred into 2.5 days post-coitum pseudo-pregnant ICR mice. MI oocytes after IVM were treated with a Ca2+ chelator to investigate the effect of Ca2+ oscillations on their maturation. Results As insemination time increased, the number of oocytes in the MI group that reached the MII stage also increased. The blastocyst rates and total cell numbers in the MII group were significantly higher than in the MI group. No pregnancy occurred in the MI group, but 10 pregnancies were achieved (10 of 12) in the MII group. The proportion of MI oocytes that matured to MII oocytes after fertilization was significantly higher in the non-treated group than in the Ca2+ chelator-treated group. Conclusion The findings that a higher proportion of MI-arrested oocytes progressed to MII after fertilization and that the MI-to-MII transition was blocked by Ca2+ chelator treatments before fertilization indicate that the maturation of MI oocytes to MII oocytes is associated with intracellular Ca2+ oscillations driven by fertilization. PMID:28428939

  16. Characterisation of mouse epididymosomes reveals a complex profile of microRNAs and a potential mechanism for modification of the sperm epigenome

    PubMed Central

    Reilly, Jackson N.; McLaughlin, Eileen A.; Stanger, Simone J.; Anderson, Amanda L.; Hutcheon, Kate; Church, Kiralee; Mihalas, Bettina P.; Tyagi, Sonika; Holt, Janet E.; Eamens, Andrew L.; Nixon, Brett

    2016-01-01

    Recent evidence has shown that the sperm epigenome is vulnerable to dynamic modifications arising from a variety of paternal environment exposures and that this legacy can serve as an important determinant of intergenerational inheritance. It has been postulated that such exchange is communicated to maturing spermatozoa via the transfer of small non-protein-coding RNAs (sRNAs) in a mechanism mediated by epididymosomes; small membrane bound vesicles released by the soma of the male reproductive tract (epididymis). Here we confirm that mouse epididymosomes encapsulate an impressive cargo of >350 microRNAs (miRNAs), a developmentally important sRNA class, the majority (~60%) of which are also represented by the miRNA signature of spermatozoa. This includes >50 miRNAs that were found exclusively in epididymal sperm and epididymosomes, but not in the surrounding soma. We also documented substantial changes in the epididymosome miRNA cargo, including significant fold changes in almost half of the miRNAs along the length of the epididymis. Finally, we provide the first direct evidence for the transfer of several prominent miRNA species between mouse epididymosomes and spermatozoa to afford novel insight into a mechanism of intercellular communication by which the sRNA payload of sperm can be selectively modified during their post-testicular maturation. PMID:27549865

  17. Molecular Modeling and Dynamics Simulation Analysis of KATNAL1 for Identification of Novel Inhibitor of Sperm Maturation.

    PubMed

    Sarma, Kishore; Roychoudhury, Shubhadeep; Bora, Sudipta Sankar; Dehury, Budheswar; Parida, Pratap; Das, Saurav; Das, Robin; Dohutia, Chandrajit; Nath, Sangeeta; Deb, Bibhas; Modi, Mahendra K

    2017-01-01

    Hormone based birth control often causes various side effects. A recent study revealed that temporary infertility without changing hormone levels can be attained by inhibiting Katanin p60 ATPase-containing subunit A-like 1 protein (KATNAL1) which is critical for sperm maturation in the testes. This study aimed at attaining the most energetically stable three dimensional (3D) structure of KATNAL1 protein using comparative modeling followed by screening of a ligand library of known natural spermicidal compounds for their binding affinity with KATNAL1. This in turn may inhibit the development of mature sperm in the seminiferous epithelium. A series of computational techniques were used for building the 3D structure of KATNAL1 which was further optimized by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. For revealing the ATP binding mode of KATNAL1, docking study was carried out using the optimized model obtained from the MD simulation. The docking study was also employed to test the binding efficiency of the ligand library. Molecular docking study confirmed the ATP binding of KATNAL1 with various hydrophobic and hydrogen bond interactions. Binding efficiency of the ligand library suggested that calotropin, a cardenolide of Calotropis procera showed the highest binding efficiency against the target protein without toxicity. MD simulation of the docked complex validated the results of the docking study. This study revealed the ATP binding mode of KATNAL1 and identified calotropin as a potential lead molecule against it showing high binding efficiency with good bioavailability and no mutagenicity. Further in vitro and in vivo bioassay of calotropin could facilitate the development of novel non-hormonal male-specific contraceptive in near future. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  18. Plasma Membrane Ca2+-ATPase 4 in Murine Epididymis: Secretion of Splice Variants in the Luminal Fluid and a Role in Sperm Maturation1

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Ramkrishna; Al-Dossary, Amal A.; Stabley, Deborah L.; Barone, Carol; Galileo, Deni S.; Strehler, Emanuel E.; Martin-DeLeon, Patricia A.

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase isoform 4 (PMCA4) is the primary Ca2+ efflux pump in murine sperm, where it regulates motility. In Pmca4 null sperm, motility loss results in infertility. We have shown that murine sperm PMCA4b interacts with Ca2+/CaM-dependent serine kinase (CASK) in regulating Ca2+ homeostasis and motility. However, recent work indicated that the bovine PMCA4a splice variant (missing in testis) is epididymally expressed, along with 4b, and may be transferred to sperm. Here we show, via conventional and in situ RT-PCR, that both the splice variants of Pmca4 mRNA are expressed in murine testis and throughout the epididymis. Immunofluorescence localized PMCA4a to the apical membrane of the epididymal epithelium, and Western analysis not only confirmed its presence but showed for the first time that PMCA4a and PMCA4b are secreted in the epididymal luminal fluid (ELF), from which epididymosomes containing PMCA4a were isolated. Flow cytometry indicated the presence of PMCA4a on mature caudal sperm where it was increased ∼5-fold compared to caput sperm (detected by Western blotting) and ∼2-fold after incubation in ELF, revealing in vitro uptake and implicating PMCA4a in epididymal sperm maturation. Coimmunoprecipitation using pan-PMCA4 antibodies, revealed that both variants associate with CASK, suggesting their presence in a complex. Because they have different kinetic properties for Ca2+ transport and different abilities to bind to CASK, our study suggests a mechanism for combining the functional attributes of both PMCA4 variants, leading to heightened efficiency of the pump in the maintenance of Ca2+ homeostasis, which is crucial for normal motility and male fertility. PMID:23699388

  19. Use of testicular sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection in men with high sperm DNA fragmentation: a SWOT analysis.

    PubMed

    Esteves, Sandro C; Roque, Matheus; Garrido, Nicolás

    2017-04-18

    Spermatozoa retrieved from the testis of men with high levels of sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) in the neat semen tend to have better DNA quality. Given the negative impact of SDF on the outcomes of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), an increased interest has emerged about the use of testicular sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (Testi-ICSI). In this article, we used a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to summarize the advantages and drawbacks of this intervention. The rationale of Testi-ICSI is bypass posttesticular DNA fragmentation caused by oxidative stress during sperm transit through the epididymis. Hence, oocyte fertilization by genomically intact testicular spermatozoa may be optimized, thus increasing the chances of creating a normal embryonic genome and the likelihood of achieving a live birth, as recently demonstrated in men with high SDF. However, there is still limited evidence as regards the clinical efficacy of Testi-ICSI, thus creating opportunities for further confirmatory clinical research as well as investigation of Testi-ICSI in clinical scenarios other than high SDF. Furthermore, Testi-ICSI can be compared to other laboratory preparation methods for deselecting sperm with damaged DNA. At present, the available literature supports the use of testicular sperm when performing ICSI in infertile couples whose male partners have posttesticular SDF. Due to inherent risks of sperm retrieval, Testi-ICSI should be offered when less invasive treatments for alleviating DNA damage have failed. A call for continuous monitoring is nonetheless required concerning the health of generated offspring and the potential complications of sperm retrieval.

  20. The apoptotic profile of human cumulus cells changes with patient age and after exposure to sperm but not in relation to oocyte maturity.

    PubMed

    Moffatt, Odette; Drury, Sarah; Tomlinson, Matthew; Afnan, Masoud; Sakkas, Denny

    2002-05-01

    To determine the expression of apoptosis-associated molecules on cumulus cells removed from individual oocytes of different maturity, inseminated oocytes and to investigate the possibility of an age-dependent expression. Analysis of apoptosis in cumulus cells isolated from oocytes of different stages of maturity. Assisted reproductive technology program of the Birmingham Women's Hospital, Birmingham, UK. Patients undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection or IVF cycles. Percentage of positive cumulus cells when assessed for nuclear DNA damage using the terminal deoxyuridine nucleotide end-labeling assay or stained with antibodies [Fas, Fas ligand, the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-xl, and the RNA-binding protein (TIAR)]. Cumulus cells collected from mature oocytes showed no significant difference in the percentage of apoptotic markers compared to those recovered from immature oocytes, whereas those from patients >/=38 years differed significantly. When cumulus cells were exposed to sperm the levels of apoptotic markers altered significantly from those not exposed to sperm. The results show that the cumulus cells of human oocytes are equipped with a mechanism to undergo apoptosis and that patient age and the exposure of cumulus cells to sperm can alter their profiles of apoptotic markers.

  1. Changes in hormonal profile, gonads and sperm quality of Argyrosomus regius (Pisces, Scianidae) during the first sexual differentiation and maturation.

    PubMed

    Schiavone, R; Zilli, L; Storelli, C; Vilella, S

    2012-03-15

    In the present study, sexual gonadal differentiation and first sexual maturation of Meagre (Argyrosomus regius) was studied, based upon the annual changes in gonadosomatic index (GSI), gonadal histology, and the plasma steroid hormones, testosterone (T), 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), and estradiol (E2). In addition, spermatozoa characteristics were evaluated by measuring sperm motility and morphology. Results demonstrated that Meagre completes sex differentiation at 10 to 12 mo of age, and are group-synchronous spawners, which reach puberty at 2 (mean length 26.8 ± 0.7 cm, mean weight 920 ± 75 g; N = 10) and 3 (mean length 35.8 ± 0.8 cm, mean weight 1610 ± 89 g; N = 10) years of age for males and females, respectively. In males, during the sex differentiation period, T levels were significantly higher with respect to those of 11-KT; this suggests that T has a key role in the early phases of the sex differentiation. During the spawning season an increase in plasma concentrations of all hormones was observed with 11-KT levels being significantly higher that those of T. In females, during the sex differentiation period, there was an increase in E2 plasma levels, while during the first spawning season, a significant increase of T and E2 levels were measured. Regarding sperm characteristics, the measured curvilinear velocity (VCL) and straight-linear velocity (VSL), resulted in the same order of magnitude with respect to those measured in other marine fish, while the average path velocity (VAP) was similar to that measured in the European Eel. The head of Meagre spermatozoa presents as oval shaped with a surface area of approximately 3.66 μm(2) and a perimeter of approximately 6.65 μm. All these findings represent an important basis for further investigation on the reproductive biology of this specie and may assist the farmers to improve seed production in aquaculture. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Production of lion (Panthera leo) blastocysts after in vitro maturation of oocytes and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    PubMed

    Fernandez-Gonzalez, Lorena; Hribal, Romy; Stagegaard, Julia; Zahmel, Jennifer; Jewgenow, Katarina

    2015-04-01

    Assisted reproductive techniques are becoming widely applied to the breeding of endangered species, but establishing reliable protocols for the production of embryos in vitro is challenging because of the scarcity of sample material. In our study, we applied an assisted reproductive technique protocol for IVM and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), developed in the domestic cat, to oocytes retrieved from ovaries of four 2-year-old lionesses (Panthera leo) eight hours postmortem. In total, 68 cumulus-oocyte complexes of good quality were randomly distributed and cultured for 32 to 34 hours in two different maturation culture media, consisting of Medium 199 with Earle's salts, 3 mg/mL BSA, 0.1 mg/mL cysteine, 1.4 mg/mL sodium pyruvate, 0.6 mg/mL sodium lactate, 0.15 mg/mL l-glutamine, and 0.055 mg/mL gentamicin. Hormonal supplementation of IVM_1 was 0.02 IU/mL FSH and 0.05 IU/mL LH; IVM_2 consisted of 1.64 IU/mL FSH, 1.06 IU/mL LH, and 1 μg/mL 17ß-estradiol. Differences in hormonal supplementation did not produce significant differences in oocyte maturation rates, which were 39.4% in IVM_1 and 34.3% in IVM_2. Matured oocytes were microinjected with homologous frozen-thawed spermatozoa, and subsequent cleavage rates were 30.8% and 58.3%, respectively. Half of the embryos derived from oocytes matured in IVM_1 developed into blastocysts, whereas only 28.6% of embryos from oocytes matured in IVM_2 reached the blastocyst stage. Morula stages were present from Day 6 onward, and blastocyst stages from Day 9 on, indicating a slower developmental speed in comparison with domestic cats. This is the first report of in vitro-produced blastocysts using ICSI in the lion, and the results report that IVM and ICSI can be successfully performed with cumulus-oocyte complexes retrieved from ovaries after eight hours of shipping, obtaining competent embryos in culture.

  3. Spermatogenesis in the blue swimming crab, Portunus pelagicus, and evidence for histones in mature sperm nuclei.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Michael J; Stewart, Praphaporn; Soonklang, Nantawan; Linthong, Vichai; Hanna, Peter J; Duan, Wei; Sobhon, Prasert

    2010-06-01

    Spermatogenesis in the blue swimming crab, Portunus pelagicus, is described by light and electron microscopy. The testis is composed of anterior (AT) and posterior (PT) lobes, that are partitioned into lobules by connective tissue trabecula, and further divided into zones (germinal, transformation and evacuation), each with various stages of cellular differentiation. The vas deferens is classified into three distinct regions: anterior (AVD), median (MVD), and posterior (PVD), on the presence of spermatophores and two secretions, termed substance I and II. Based on the degree and patterns of heterochromatin, spermatogenesis is classified into 13 stages: two spermatogonia (SgA and SgB), six primary spermatocytes (leptotene, zygotene, pachytene, diplotene, diakinesis, and metaphase), a secondary spermatocyte (SSc), three spermatids (St 1-3), and a mature spermatozoon. Spermatid stages are differentiated by chromatin decondensation and the formation of an acrosomal complex, which is unique to brachyurans. Mature spermatozoa are aflagellated, and have a nuclear projection and a spherical acrosome. AUT-PAGE and Western blots show that, during chromatin decondensation, there is a reduction of most histones, with only small amounts of H2B and H3 remaining in mature spermatozoa.

  4. Porcine embryo production following in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection from vitrified immature oocytes matured with a granulosa cell co-culture system.

    PubMed

    Casillas, Fahiel; Ducolomb, Yvonne; Lemus, Ana E; Cuello, Cristina; Betancourt, Miguel

    2015-10-01

    This study was designed to evaluate the capacity of vitrified-warmed porcine immature oocytes to mature and to be fertilized using in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and to determine the subsequent embryo development. Immature oocytes were vitrified using ethylene glycol and dimethylsulphoxide as cryoprotectants and the Cryolock method. After warming oocytes were cultured 44 h for maturation. Oocytes were randomly distributed in three treatment groups and subjected to in vitro fertilization (Experiment 1) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (Experiment 2) procedures. The results indicate that the embryo development was higher in denuded oocytes co-cultured with granulosa cells (NkO-CC group) fertilized by in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection compared to cumulus-cell oocyte complexes (COCs group), showing no significant differences with control. Vitrified denuded oocytes matured with a co-culture system NkO-CC group, displayed higher cleavage rate and blastocyst production than vitrified COCs group. Blastocysts were successfully obtained after IVF and ICSI procedures; however, the development to the blastocyst stage was better after IVF. These results show that the vitrification-warming media, the employment of a granulosa cell co-culture system and the Cryolock method during vitrification, increased the nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of vitrified porcine immature oocytes. Further experiments are required to enhance porcine embryo production after vitrification.

  5. Manipulation and in vitro maturation of Xenopus laevis oocytes, followed by intracytoplasmic sperm injection, to study embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Kei; Simpson, David; Gurdon, John B

    2015-02-09

    Amphibian eggs have been widely used to study embryonic development. Early embryonic development is driven by maternally stored factors accumulated during oogenesis. In order to study roles of such maternal factors in early embryonic development, it is desirable to manipulate their functions from the very beginning of embryonic development. Conventional ways of gene interference are achieved by injection of antisense oligonucleotides (oligos) or mRNA into fertilized eggs, enabling under- or over-expression of specific proteins, respectively. However, these methods normally require more than several hours until protein expression is affected, and, hence, the interference of gene functions is not effective during early embryonic stages. Here, we introduce an experimental system in which expression levels of maternal proteins can be altered before fertilization. Xenopus laevis oocytes obtained from ovaries are defolliculated by incubating with enzymes. Antisense oligos or mRNAs are injected into defolliculated oocytes at the germinal vesicle (GV) stage. These oocytes are in vitro matured to eggs at the metaphase II (MII) stage, followed by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). By this way, up to 10% of ICSI embryos can reach the swimming tadpole stage, thus allowing functional tests of specific gene knockdown or overexpression. This approach can be a useful way to study roles of maternally stored factors in early embryonic development.

  6. Clusterin Facilitates Exchange of Glycosyl Phosphatidylinositol-Linked SPAM1 Between Reproductive Luminal Fluids and Mouse and Human Sperm Membranes1

    PubMed Central

    Griffiths, Genevieve S.; Galileo, Deni S.; Aravindan, Rolands G.; Martin-DeLeon, Patricia A.

    2009-01-01

    Glycosyl phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked proteins, which are involved in post-testicular maturation of sperm and have a role in fertilization, are acquired on the sperm surface from both vesicular and membrane-free soluble fractions of epididymal luminal fluid (LF) and uterine LF. Herein, we investigate the mechanism of uptake of these proteins from the soluble fraction of LFs using sperm adhesion molecule 1 (SPAM1) as a model. Ultracentrifugation and native Western blot analysis of the soluble fraction revealed that SPAM1 is present in low-molecular-weight (monomeric) and high-molecular-weight (oligomeric) complexes. The latter are incapable of transferring SPAM1 and may serve to produce monomers. Monomers are stabilized by hydrophobic interactions with clusterin (CLU), a lipid carrier that is abundantly expressed in LFs. We show that CLU is involved in the transfer of SPAM1 monomers, whose delivery was decreased by anti-CLU antibody under normal and apolipoprotein-enhanced conditions. Coimmunoprecipitation revealed an intimate association of CLU with SPAM1. Both plasma and recombinant CLU had a dose-related effect on transfer efficiency: high concentrations reduced and low concentrations enhanced delivery of SPAM1 to human and mouse sperm membranes, reflecting physiological states in the epididymal tract. We propose a lipid exchange model (akin to the lipid-poor model for cholesterol efflux) for the delivery of GPI-linked proteins to sperm membranes via CLU. Our investigation defines specific conditions for membrane-free GPI-linked protein transfer in vitro and could lead to technology for improving fertility or treating sperm pathology by the addition of relevant GPI-linked proteins critical for successful fertilization in humans and domestic animals. PMID:19357365

  7. Sperm Competition, Sperm Numbers and Sperm Quality in Muroid Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Gómez Montoto, Laura; Magaña, Concepción; Tourmente, Maximiliano; Martín-Coello, Juan; Crespo, Cristina; Luque-Larena, Juan José

    2011-01-01

    developmental pathways underlying processes of sperm formation, maturation, transport in the female reproductive tract, and preparation for fertilization must all evolve in concert. PMID:21464956

  8. SACY-1 DEAD-Box Helicase Links the Somatic Control of Oocyte Meiotic Maturation to the Sperm-to-Oocyte Switch and Gamete Maintenance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seongseop; Govindan, J. Amaranath; Tu, Zheng Jin; Greenstein, David

    2012-01-01

    In sexually reproducing animals, oocytes arrest at diplotene or diakinesis and resume meiosis (meiotic maturation) in response to hormones. In Caenorhabditis elegans, major sperm protein triggers meiotic resumption through a mechanism involving somatic Gαs–adenylate cyclase signaling and soma-to-germline gap-junctional communication. Using genetic mosaic analysis, we show that the major effector of Gαs–adenylate cyclase signaling, protein kinase A (PKA), is required in gonadal sheath cells for oocyte meiotic maturation and dispensable in the germ line. This result rules out a model in which cyclic nucleotides must transit through sheath-oocyte gap junctions to activate PKA in the germ line, as proposed in vertebrate systems. We conducted a genetic screen to identify regulators of oocyte meiotic maturation functioning downstream of Gαs–adenylate cyclase–PKA signaling. We molecularly identified 10 regulatory loci, which include essential and nonessential factors. sacy-1, which encodes a highly conserved DEAD-box helicase, is an essential germline factor that negatively regulates meiotic maturation. SACY-1 is a multifunctional protein that establishes a mechanistic link connecting the somatic control of meiotic maturation to germline sex determination and gamete maintenance. Modulatory factors include multiple subunits of a CoREST-like complex and the TWK-1 two-pore potassium channel. These factors are not absolutely required for meiotic maturation or its negative regulation in the absence of sperm, but function cumulatively to enable somatic control of meiotic maturation. This work provides insights into the genetic control of meiotic maturation signaling in C. elegans, and the conserved factors identified here might inform analysis in other systems through either homology or analogy. PMID:22887816

  9. Elucidation of the Involvement of p14, a Sperm Protein during Maturation, Capacitation and Acrosome Reaction of Caprine Spermatozoa

    PubMed Central

    Nandi, Pinki; Ghosh, Swatilekha; Jana, Kuladip; Sen, Parimal C.

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian sperm capacitation is an essential prerequisite to fertilization. Although progress is being made in understanding the physiology and biochemistry of capacitation, little has been yet explored about the potential role(s) of individual sperm cell protein during this process. Therefore elucidation of the role of different sperm proteins in the process of capacitation might be of great importance to understand the process of fertilization. The present work describes the partial characterization of a 14-kDa protein (p14) detected in goat spermatozoa using an antibody directed against the purified protein. Confocal microscopic analysis reveals that the protein is present in both the intracellular and extracellular regions of the acrosomal and postacrosomal portion of caudal sperm head. Though subcellular localization shows that p14 is mainly cytosolic, however it is also seen to be present in peripheral plasma membrane and soluble part of acrosome. Immuno-localization experiment shows change in the distribution pattern of this protein upon induction of capacitation in sperm cells. Increased immunolabeling in the anterior head region of live spermatozoa is also observed when these cells are incubated under capacitating conditions, whereas most sperm cells challenged with the calcium ionophore A23187 to acrosome react, lose their labeling almost completely. Intracellular distribution of p14 also changes significantly during acrosome reaction. Interestingly, on the other hand the antibody raised against this 14-kDa sperm protein enhances the forward motility of caprine sperm cells. Rose-Bengal staining method shows that this anti-p14 antibody also decreases the number of acrosome reacted cells if incubated with capacitated sperm cells before induction of acrosome reaction. All these results taken together clearly indicate that p14 is intimately involved and plays a critical role in the acrosomal membrane fusion event. PMID:22291985

  10. Elucidation of the involvement of p14, a sperm protein during maturation, capacitation and acrosome reaction of caprine spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Nandi, Pinki; Ghosh, Swatilekha; Jana, Kuladip; Sen, Parimal C

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian sperm capacitation is an essential prerequisite to fertilization. Although progress is being made in understanding the physiology and biochemistry of capacitation, little has been yet explored about the potential role(s) of individual sperm cell protein during this process. Therefore elucidation of the role of different sperm proteins in the process of capacitation might be of great importance to understand the process of fertilization. The present work describes the partial characterization of a 14-kDa protein (p14) detected in goat spermatozoa using an antibody directed against the purified protein. Confocal microscopic analysis reveals that the protein is present in both the intracellular and extracellular regions of the acrosomal and postacrosomal portion of caudal sperm head. Though subcellular localization shows that p14 is mainly cytosolic, however it is also seen to be present in peripheral plasma membrane and soluble part of acrosome. Immuno-localization experiment shows change in the distribution pattern of this protein upon induction of capacitation in sperm cells. Increased immunolabeling in the anterior head region of live spermatozoa is also observed when these cells are incubated under capacitating conditions, whereas most sperm cells challenged with the calcium ionophore A23187 to acrosome react, lose their labeling almost completely. Intracellular distribution of p14 also changes significantly during acrosome reaction. Interestingly, on the other hand the antibody raised against this 14-kDa sperm protein enhances the forward motility of caprine sperm cells. Rose-Bengal staining method shows that this anti-p14 antibody also decreases the number of acrosome reacted cells if incubated with capacitated sperm cells before induction of acrosome reaction. All these results taken together clearly indicate that p14 is intimately involved and plays a critical role in the acrosomal membrane fusion event.

  11. Alternative splicing, promoter methylation, and functional SNPs of sperm flagella 2 gene in testis and mature spermatozoa of Holstein bulls.

    PubMed

    Guo, F; Yang, B; Ju, Z H; Wang, X G; Qi, C; Zhang, Y; Wang, C F; Liu, H D; Feng, M Y; Chen, Y; Xu, Y X; Zhong, J F; Huang, J M

    2014-02-01

    The sperm flagella 2 (SPEF2) gene is essential for development of normal sperm tail and male fertility. In this study, we characterized first the splice variants, promoter and its methylation, and functional single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the SPEF2 gene in newborn and adult Holstein bulls. Four splice variants were identified in the testes, epididymis, sperm, heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys, and liver tissues through RT-PCR, clone sequencing, and western blot analysis. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the SPEF2 was specifically expressed in the primary spermatocytes, elongated spermatids, and round spermatids in the testes and epididymis. SPEF2-SV1 was differentially expressed in the sperms of high-performance and low-performance adult bulls; SPEF2-SV2 presents the highest expression in testis and epididymis; SPEF2-SV3 was only detected in testis and epididymis. An SNP (c.2851G>T) in exon 20 of SPEF2, located within a putative exonic splice enhancer, potentially produced SPEF2-SV3 and was involved in semen deformity rate and post-thaw cryopreserved sperm motility. The luciferase reporter and bisulfite sequencing analysis suggested that the methylation pattern of the core promoter did not significantly differ between the full-sib bulls that presented hypomethylation in the ejaculated semen and testis. This finding indicates that sperm quality is unrelated to SPEF2 methylation pattern. Our data suggest that alternative splicing, rather than methylation, is involved in the regulation of SPEF2 expression in the testes and sperm and is one of the determinants of sperm motility during bull spermatogenesis. The exonic SNP (c.2851G>T) produces aberrant splice variants, which can be used as a candidate marker for semen traits selection breeding of Holstein bulls.

  12. Cytochemical study of spermiogenesis and mature spermatozoa in the lizard Tropidurus itambere (Reptilia, Squamata).

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Adelina; Dolder, Heidi

    2003-01-01

    The present study was undertaken to detect essential components of spermatozoa by ultrastructural and cytochemical analyses of testis and epididymis of the lizard Tropidurus itambere at different points of its annual reproductive cycle. Cytochemical investigations of spermiogenesis have not been performed so far in Squamata and are scarce for lower vertebrates. Essential components are: 1) polysaccharides, identified by PAS staining, abundantly present in Sertoli cell elongations, acrosomal vesicles and the acrosome of sperm cells; 2) glycoconjugate variations, labeled by different lectins and used to investigate cell modifications during spermiogenesis and found in mature spermatozoa in the female's seminal receptacle; 3) basic proteins, present in large quantities in spermatozoa in the subacrosomal cone, the pericentriolar material, the midpiece dense bodies, the peripheral fibers of the axoneme, and the fibrous sheath of the flagellum; 4) the final reaction product of acid phosphatase activity in several stages of acrosome development, specifically in the clear zone and epinuclear electron-lucent region of spermatozoal acrosomes, as well as in very active lysosomes found during the quiescent period of the reproductive cycle; 5) lipids, abundantly present in the cytoplasm of Leydig cells during the quiescent period. The cytochemical methods show that the ultrastructurally complex acrosome is also biochemically heterogeneous, with specific layers rich in glycoproteins, basic proteins or acid phosphatase. These different components may play a role during sperm penetration into the ovule. Basic proteins are largely responsible for structures surrounding the axoneme to provide resistance to the flagellum. In the quiescent period, acid phosphatase activity is involved in the elimination of superfluous sperm cells, whereas lipids in Leydig cells are used for hormone synthesis which starts at this time point to initiate a new reproductive cycle. Variations in lectin

  13. Properties of a Novel pH-dependent Ca2+ Permeation Pathway Present in Male Germ Cells with Possible Roles in Spermatogenesis and Mature Sperm Function

    PubMed Central

    Santi, Celia M.; Santos, Teresa; Hernández-Cruz, Arturo; Darszon, Alberto

    1998-01-01

    Rises of intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) are key signals for cell division, differentiation, and maturation. Similarly, they are likely to be important for the unique processes of meiosis and spermatogenesis, carried out exclusively by male germ cells. In addition, elevations of [Ca2+]i and intracellular pH (pHi) in mature sperm trigger at least two events obligatory for fertilization: capacitation and acrosome reaction. Evidence implicates the activity of Ca2+ channels modulated by pHi in the origin of these Ca2+ elevations, but their nature remains unexplored, in part because work in individual spermatozoa are hampered by formidable experimental difficulties. Recently, late spermatogenic cells have emerged as a model system for studying aspects relevant for sperm physiology, such as plasmalemmal ion fluxes. Here we describe the first study on the influence of controlled intracellular alkalinization on [Ca2+]i on identified spermatogenic cells from mouse adult testes. In BCECF [(2′,7′)-bis(carboxymethyl)- (5,6)-carboxyfluorescein]-AM-loaded spermatogenic cells, a brief (30–60 s) application of 25 mM NH4Cl increased pHi by ∼1.3 U from a resting pHi ∼6.65. A steady pHi plateau was maintained during NH4Cl application, with little or no rebound acidification. In fura-2-AM-loaded cells, alkalinization induced a biphasic response composed of an initial [Ca2+]i drop followed by a two- to threefold rise. Maneuvers that inhibit either Ca2+ influx or intracellular Ca2+ release demonstrated that the majority of the Ca2+ rise results from plasma membrane Ca2+ influx, although a small component likely to result from intracellular Ca2+ release was occasionally observed. Ca2+ transients potentiated with repeated NH4Cl applications, gradually obliterating the initial [Ca2+]i drop. The pH-sensitive Ca2+ permeation pathway allows the passage of other divalents (Sr2+, Ba2+, and Mn2+) and is blocked by inorganic Ca2+ channel blockers (Ni2+ and Cd2+), but not by the organic

  14. Impact of a timed-release FSH treatment from 2 to 6 months of age in bulls II: Endocrinology, puberty attainment, and mature sperm production in Holstein bulls.

    PubMed

    Harstine, B R; Cruppe, L H; Abreu, F M; Rodrigues, A D; DeJarnette, J M; Day, M L

    2017-09-21

    The use of genomic testing in the cattle industries has renewed an interest in hastening bull puberty. In prepubertal males, FSH facilitates Sertoli cell proliferation and testis maturation. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of prepubertal administration of a timed-release FSH (delivered in a hyaluronan solution) on hormone secretion, puberty attainment, and mature sperm production in Holstein bulls in an AI center. Bulls (n = 29) were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups based on birth date and pedigree. Beginning at 62 days of age (Day 62), bulls were injected im every 3.5 days with either 30 mg FSH (Folltropin-V; NIH-FSH-P1 units) in a 2% hyaluronan solution (FSH-HA, n = 17) or saline (control, n = 12) until Day 170.5. Blood samples to assess FSH, activin A, and testosterone were collected prior to each treatment. Scrotal circumference (SC) and BW were measured monthly. Puberty assessment (ability to ejaculate 5 × 10(7) sperm, 10% motile) was initiated at Day 244. Average mature daily sperm production (3× wk collection, combined 2 ejaculates) was assessed from Day 571-627. In blood collected every 3.5 days, FSH concentrations within FSH-HA bulls were increased (P < 0.05) over initial Day 62 concentration from Day 93.5-170.5. Concentrations of FSH did not differ between treatments from Day 62-93.5, but were greater (P < 0.05) in FSH-HA than control bulls from Day 97-170.5. Concentrations of activin A assessed for Day 62, 86.5, 107.5, 139, and 170.5 were greater (P < 0.05) in FSH-HA than control bulls on Day 86.5 and 107.5. Treatments did not differ (P > 0.1) in testosterone, BW, or SC. FSH-HA bulls attained puberty at a younger age than control bulls (278 ± 7.7 vs. 303 ± 9.1 days of age, P < 0.05), but mature daily sperm production was not different when measured from Day 571-627 (average 5.84 ± 0.11 billion cells/day, P = 0.5). In summary, FSH administration every 3.5 days from Day 62-170.5 resulted in

  15. Attempt at intracytoplasmic sperm injection of in vitro matured oocytes in common minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) captured during the Kushiro Coast Survey.

    PubMed

    Fukui, Yutaka; Iwayama, Hiroshi; Matsuoka, Taiki; Nagai, Hiroki; Koma, Noriko; Mogoe, Toshihiro; Ishikawa, Hajime; Fujise, Yoshihiro; Hirabayashi, Masumi; Hochi, Shinichi; Kato, Hidehiro; Ohsumi, Seiji

    2007-08-01

    The present study was conducted during the Kushiro Coast Survey in an attempt to produce common minke whale embryos. In Experiment 1, we attempted to determine the appropriate culture duration (30 or 40 h) for in vitro maturation (IVM) of immature oocytes using the Well of the Well method. In Experiment 2, and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was applied to matured oocytes from prepubertal and adult common minke whales after IVM culture (40 or 48 h), and then their embryonic development was assessed. In Experiment 1, the maturation rate of oocytes cultured for 40 h (30.4%) was significantly higher than that of oocytes cultured for 30 h (6.8%; P<0.01). In Experiment 2, a total of 35 and 46 immature oocytes derived from adult (n=2) and prepubertal (n=6) minke whales, respectively, were cultured for 40 or 48 h. The maturation rate in the oocytes from the adult whales (34.2%) tended to be higher than that of the oocytes from the prepubertal whales (19.6%), but there was no significant difference. Following ICSI, 3 out of the 10 inseminated and cultured oocytes from the adult whales cleaved (2-, 8-, and 16-cell stages); all of these oocytes had been matured for 40 in culture. However, these oocytes did not develop to further stages. Only one of the 6 oocytes derived from the prepubertal whales, IVM cultured for 40 h and inseminated, developed to the 4-cell stage. The present results indicate that a 40 h IVM culture produces significantly higher rates of in vitro maturation than a 30 h IVM culture for common minke whale oocytes. Following ICSI, some oocytes cleaved to the 16-cell stage, but no further development was observed.

  16. Methylation changes in mature sperm deoxyribonucleic acid from oligozoospermic men: assessment of genetic variants and assisted reproductive technology outcome.

    PubMed

    Montjean, Debbie; Ravel, Célia; Benkhalifa, Moncef; Cohen-Bacrie, Paul; Berthaut, Isabelle; Bashamboo, Anu; McElreavey, Kenneth

    2013-11-01

    To characterize a potential genetic cause for methylation errors described in oligozoospermia. Analysis of PEG1/MEST-DMR and H19-DMR methylation level in sperm, in parallel with the study of several genes on the Y chromosome, DNMT3A, and DNMT3L. Clinical outcome was also looked at regarding PEG1/MEST-DMR and H19-DMR methylation level in sperm. Research and diagnostic laboratories. One hundred nineteen normospermic and 175 oligozoospermic men consulting for couple infertility. We studied PEG1/MEST-DMR and H19-DMR methylation profiles in 294 men. We searched for Y chromosome gene aberrations and for mutations in both DNMT3A and DNMT3L genes in men showing epimutations. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) outcomes were also investigated. Sperm samples were collected from 294 volunteers for genomic DNA isolation that was used to study methylation profiles in imprinted loci and Y chromosome SMCY, DNMT3A, and DNMT3L genes. Pregnancy rate was also studied after ART treatment using sperm showing epimutations. Epimutations in H19-DMR and PEG1/MEST-DMR were found in 20% and 3% of oligozoospermic men, respectively. We identified an amino acid change in DNMT3A in one case and in DNMT3L in eight men with altered methylation profiles. No mutations were detected in SMCY or in selected Y chromsome genes. No correlation between ART outcome and epimutations was found. We observed epimethylations in spermatozoa of oligozoospermic individuals, but no association was found with genetic variants or in the ART outcome. Copyright © 2013 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Low-Dose Urinary Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Is Effective for Oocyte Maturation in In Vitro Fertilization/ Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Cycles Independent of Body Mass Index

    PubMed Central

    R. Hoyos, Luis; Khan, Sana; Dai, Jing; Singh, Manvinder; P. Diamond, Michael; E. Puscheck, Elizabeth; O. Awonuga, Awoniyi

    2017-01-01

    Background: Currently, there is no agreement on the optimal urinary derived human chorionic gonadotropin (u-hCG) dose requirement for initiating final oocyte maturation prior to oocyte collection in in vitro fertilization (IVF), but doses that range from 2500- 15000 IU have been used. We intended to determine whether low dose u-hCG was effective for oocyte maturation in IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles independent of body mass index (BMI). Materials and Methods: We retrospectively evaluated a cohort of 295 women who underwent their first IVF/ICSI cycles between January 2003 and December 2010 at the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA. Treatment cycles were divided into 3 groups based on BMI (kg/ m2): <25 (n=136), 25- <30 (n=84), and ≥30 (n=75) women. Patients received 5000, 10000 or 15000 IU u-hCG for final maturation prior to oocyte collection. The primary outcome was clinical pregnancy rates (CPRs) and secondary outcome was live birth rates (LBRs). Results: Only maternal age negatively impacted (P<0.001) CPR [odds ratio (OR=0.85, confidence interval (CI: 0.79-0.91)] and LBR (OR=0.84, CI: 0.78-0.90). Conclusion: Administration of lower dose u-hCG was effective for oocyte maturation in IVF and did not affect the CPRs and LBRs irrespective of BMI. Women’s BMI need not be taken into consideration in choosing the appropriate dose of u-hCG for final oocyte maturation prior to oocyte collection in IVF. Only maternal age at the time of IVF negatively influenced CPRs and LBRs in this study. PMID:28367299

  18. Low-Dose Urinary Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Is Effective for Oocyte Maturation in In Vitro Fertilization/ Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Cycles Independent of Body Mass Index.

    PubMed

    R Hoyos, Luis; Khan, Sana; Dai, Jing; Singh, Manvinder; P Diamond, Michael; E Puscheck, Elizabeth; O Awonuga, Awoniyi

    2017-01-01

    Currently, there is no agreement on the optimal urinary derived human chorionic gonadotropin (u-hCG) dose requirement for initiating final oocyte maturation prior to oocyte collection in in vitro fertilization (IVF), but doses that range from 2500- 15000 IU have been used. We intended to determine whether low dose u-hCG was effective for oocyte maturation in IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles independent of body mass index (BMI). We retrospectively evaluated a cohort of 295 women who underwent their first IVF/ICSI cycles between January 2003 and December 2010 at the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA. Treatment cycles were divided into 3 groups based on BMI (kg/ m(2)): <25 (n=136), 25- <30 (n=84), and ≥30 (n=75) women. Patients received 5000, 10000 or 15000 IU u-hCG for final maturation prior to oocyte collection. The primary outcome was clinical pregnancy rates (CPRs) and secondary outcome was live birth rates (LBRs). Only maternal age negatively impacted (P<0.001) CPR [odds ratio (OR=0.85, confidence interval (CI: 0.79-0.91)] and LBR (OR=0.84, CI: 0.78-0.90). Administration of lower dose u-hCG was effective for oocyte maturation in IVF and did not affect the CPRs and LBRs irrespective of BMI. Women's BMI need not be taken into consideration in choosing the appropriate dose of u-hCG for final oocyte maturation prior to oocyte collection in IVF. Only maternal age at the time of IVF negatively influenced CPRs and LBRs in this study.

  19. In vitro maturation, fertilization, embryo development & clinical outcome of human metaphase-I oocytes retrieved from stimulated intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles.

    PubMed

    Álvarez, Cristina; García-Garrido, Carmen; Taronger, Roser; González de Merlo, Gaspar

    2013-02-01

    The major cause of fertilisation failure after ICSI is failure of the oocyte to initiate the biochemical processes necessary for activation. This inability could be ascribed to cytoplasmic immaturity of those gametes even if they had reached nuclear maturity. The activation of a mature oocyte is characterised by release from metaphase II (MII) arrest and extrusion of the second polar body, followed by pro-nuclear formation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the fate of in vitro matured (IVM) metaphase I (MI) oocytes subjected to intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) at different time intervals after extrusion of the first polar body (1PB) in in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. A total of 8030 oocytes were collected from 1400 ICSI cycles, 5504 MII at the time of cumulus retrieval. Four hundred eight metaphase II (MII) (27.1%) matured to MII after in vitro culture for 2-26 h and 5389 sibling MII in the moment of oocyte denudation were injected. On the other hand, 49 ICSI cycles containing only MI oocytes at retrieval were injected at three different time intervals after reaching the MII. The intervals were as follows: 2-6 h (n=10), 8-11 h (n=4) and 23-26 h (n=10). Fertilization and development potential were evaluated in both studies. Fertilization, embryo cleavage and quality were significantly lower in IVM MI compared to MII at time of denudation. Pregnancy rate was higher in group MII. Pregnancy was achieved in three embryo transfers when ICSI was performed within 2-6 h (group I) and 8-11 h (group II) after PB extrusion. One pregnancy was obtained in group I and a healthy neonate was born. Immature oocytes from women whose ovaries have been stimulated could be matured, fertilized by ICSI, cleaved in vitro and to give rise to a live birth. However, the developmental competence of embryos derived from immature oocytes is reduced, compared with sibling in vivo matured oocytes. Further, human IVM oocytes need between 2-6h after the 1PB extrusion to complete its

  20. In vitro maturation, fertilization, embryo development & clinical outcome of human metaphase-I oocytes retrieved from stimulated intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez, Cristina; García-Garrido, Carmen; Taronger, Roser; de Merlo, Gaspar González

    2013-01-01

    Background & objectives: The major cause of fertilisation failure after ICSI is failure of the oocyte to initiate the biochemical processes necessary for activation. This inability could be ascribed to cytoplasmic immaturity of those gametes even if they had reached nuclear maturity. The activation of a mature oocyte is characterised by release from metaphase II (MII) arrest and extrusion of the second polar body, followed by pro-nuclear formation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the fate of in vitro matured (IVM) metaphase I (MI) oocytes subjected to intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) at different time intervals after extrusion of the first polar body (1PB) in in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. Methods: A total of 8030 oocytes were collected from 1400 ICSI cycles, 5504 MII at the time of cumulus retrieval. Four hundred eight metaphase II (MII) (27.1%) matured to MII after in vitro culture for 2-26 h and 5389 sibling MII in the moment of oocyte denudation were injected. On the other hand, 49 ICSI cycles containing only MI oocytes at retrieval were injected at three different time intervals after reaching the MII. The intervals were as follows: 2-6 h (n=10), 8-11 h (n=4) and 23-26 h (n=10). Fertilization and development potential were evaluated in both studies. Results: Fertilization, embryo cleavage and quality were significantly lower in IVM MI compared to MII at time of denudation. Pregnancy rate was higher in group MII. Pregnancy was achieved in three embryo transfers when ICSI was performed within 2-6 h (group I) and 8-11 h (group II) after PB extrusion. One pregnancy was obtained in group I and a healthy neonate was born. Interpretation & conclusions: Immature oocytes from women whose ovaries have been stimulated could be matured, fertilized by ICSI, cleaved in vitro and to give rise to a live birth. However, the developmental competence of embryos derived from immature oocytes is reduced, compared with sibling in vivo matured oocytes. Further

  1. The effects of different types of media on in vitro maturation outcomes of human germinal vesicle oocytes retrieved in intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles.

    PubMed

    Fesahat, Farzaneh; Dehghani Firouzabadi, Razieh; Faramarzi, Azita; Khalili, Mohammad Ali

    2017-06-01

    Optimizing in vitro maturation (IVM) media to achieve better outcomes has been a matter of interest in recent years. The aim of this prospective clinical trial was to investigate the effects of different media on the IVM outcomes of immature oocytes at the germinal vesicle (GV) stage. A total of 400 immature oocytes at the GV stage with normal morphology were retrieved from 320 infertile women aged 31±4.63 years during stimulated intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles. They were divided into groups of homemade IVM medium (I, n=100), cleavage medium (II, n=100), blastocyst medium (III, n=100), and Sage IVM medium (IV, n=100) and cultured for 24 to 48 hours at 37℃. ICSI was performed, and the rates of fertilization and embryo formation were compared across the four groups. In the 400 retrieved GV oocytes, the total maturation rates showed significant differences in groups I to IV (55%, 53%, 78%, and 68%, respectively, p<0.001). However, there were no significant differences in the fertilization, embryo formation, or arrest rates of metaphase II oocytes across these groups. In all groups, GV maturation was mostly completed after 24 hours, with fewer oocytes requiring 48 hours to mature (p<0.01). Moreover, the rate of high-quality embryos was higher in group IV than in the other groups (p=0.01). The quality of the IVM medium was found to affect clinical IVM outcomes. Additionally, blastocyst medium may be a good choice in IVM/ICSI cycles as an alternative IVM medium.

  2. High Peak Estradiol/Mature Oocyte Ratio Predicts Lower Clinical Pregnancy, Ongoing Pregnancy, and Live Birth Rates in GnRH Antagonist Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Cycles.

    PubMed

    Sandoval, Juan S; Steward, Ryan G; Chen, Chen; Li, Yi-Ju; Price, Thomas M; Muasher, Suheil J

    2016-01-01

    To define the relationship between peak estradiol (E2)/mature oocyte ratio and pregnancy outcomes in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) cycles. Retrospective cohort study in the setting of an academic reproductive medicine practice. Records from 162 fresh, autologous, GnRH antagonist ICSI cycles performed between 2009 and 2012 .were analyzed. The main outcome measures were rates of clinical pregnancy (CPR), ongoing pregnancy (OPR), and live birth (LBR). For the primary analysis, 4 groups were created based on peak E2/mature oocyte ratio (group 1: <200, group 2: 200-300, group 3: 300-400, and group 4: >400 pg/mL/oocyte). After adjusting for age, basal FSH, and the number of mature oocytes, a significantly lower OPR was seen in group 4 as compared to group I (OR 0.15, 95% CI 0.03-0.86; p=0.032) and group 3 (OR 0.17, 95% CI 0.03-0.98; p=0.048), respectively. The adjusted LBR was also significantly lower in group 4 as compared to group 1 (OR 0.15, 95% CI 0.03-0.83; p=0.030). In a secondary analysis, 3 ranges of peak E2/ mature oocyte ratio (<200, 200-400, and >400 pg/ mL/oocyte) were compared between low, normal, and high responders (<6, 6-15, and >15 mature oocytes, respectively). Clinical pregnancy rate, OPR, and LBR were all lower in normal responders when the E2/oocyte ratio exceeded 400 pg/mL/oocyte as compared to <200 pg/mL/oocyte and 200-300 pg/mL/oocyte (CPR 1% vs. 16% and 32%, respectively, p=0.017; OPR 0 vs. 15% and 27%, respectively, p=0.011; and LBR 0 vs. 13% and 26%, respectively, p=0.018). Very elevated peak E2/mature oocyte ratio is associated with a lower CPR, OPR, and LBR in fresh, autologous, GnRH antagonist ICSI cycles.

  3. Protein disulfide isomerase-P5, down-regulated in the final stage of boar epididymal sperm maturation, catalyzes disulfide formation to inhibit protein function in oxidative refolding of reduced denatured lysozyme.

    PubMed

    Akama, Kuniko; Horikoshi, Tomoe; Sugiyama, Atsushi; Nakahata, Satoko; Akitsu, Aoi; Niwa, Nobuyoshi; Intoh, Atsushi; Kakui, Yasutaka; Sugaya, Michiko; Takei, Kazuo; Imaizumi, Noriaki; Sato, Takaya; Matsumoto, Rena; Iwahashi, Hitoshi; Kashiwabara, Shin-ichi; Baba, Tadashi; Nakamura, Megumi; Toda, Tosifusa

    2010-06-01

    In mammalian spermiogenesis, sperm mature during epididymal transit to get fertility. The pig sharing many physiological similarities with humans is considered a promising animal model in medicine. We examined the expression profiles of proteins from boar epididymal caput, corpus, and cauda sperm by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and peptide mass fingerprinting. Our results indicated that protein disulfide isomerase-P5 (PDI-P5) human homolog was down-regulated from the epididymal corpus to cauda sperm, in contrast to the constant expression of protein disulfide isomerase A3 (PDIA3) human homolog. To examine the functions of PDIA3 and PDI-P5, we cloned and sequenced cDNAs of pig PDIA3 and PDI-P5 protein precursors. Each recombinant pig mature PDIA3 and PDI-P5 expressed in Escherichia coli showed thiol-dependent disulfide reductase activities in insulin turbidity assay. Although PDIA3 showed chaperone activity to promote oxidative refolding of reduced denatured lysozyme, PDI-P5 exhibited anti-chaperone activity to inhibit oxidative refolding of lysozyme at an equimolar ratio. SDS-PAGE and Western blotting analysis suggested that disulfide cross-linked and non-productively folded lysozyme was responsible for the anti-chaperone activity of PDI-P5. These results provide a molecular basis and insights into the physiological roles of PDIA3 and PDI-P5 in sperm maturation and fertilization.

  4. Chromosomal aberrations in in-vitro matured oocytes influence implantation and ongoing pregnancy rates in a mouse model undergoing intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    PubMed

    Li, Min; Zhao, Hong-Cui; Li, Rong; Yu, Yang; Qiao, Jie

    2014-01-01

    Implantation failure and early pregnancy loss have been reported to be closely related to the quality of mammalian oocytes; however, the pregnant outcome of embryos from in-vitro matured (IVM) oocytes remains unknown. In this study we examined spindle assembly and chromosome segregation during differentiation, and the duration of IVM of mouse oocytes. The resulting implantation and pregnancy outcomes were analyzed to clarify the relationship between the spindle and chromosomes of IVM oocytes and implantation and early pregnancy. Cumulus-enclosed germinal vesicle oocytes were collected and randomly cultured in IVM medium with different IVM durations. One part of IVM oocytes were analyzed the spindle and chromosome morphology by immunofluorescence method, and the other part of them were fertilized by intracytoplasmic sperm injection. The resulting embryos were transferred into pseudo-pregnant female mice, and the post-implantation and full term development was observed. The chromosome aberrations and incorrect spindle assembly seems not affect the early development and blastocyst cell number derived from IVM oocytes, however the development potential of the resulting embryos after implantation were significant decreased with the ratio increasing of chromosome aberrations and incorrect spindle assembly. Accordingly, the full-term development was also decreased. In conclusion, the present study showed the spindle assembly of in vitro-matured oocytes was one of the most important factors that affected the implantation and ongoing pregnancy rates of IVM oocytes, and the improvement by an appropriate duration of maturation in vitro will enhance the post-implantation development potential of the resulting embryos, and decrease implantation failure and early pregnancy loss.

  5. Early sexual maturity in local boars of Northeastern India: age-related changes in testicular growth, epididymal sperm characteristics and peripheral testosterone levels.

    PubMed

    Kumaresan, A; Bujarbaruah, K M; Kadirvel, G; Khargharia, G; Sarma, Rumi G; Goswami, J; Basumatary, Rantu; Palaniappan, Kavitha; Bardoloi, R K

    2011-03-01

    The present study reports the age related changes in the peripheral testosterone levels, testicular and epididymal growth and development and cauda epididymal spermiogram in local pigs of Northeastern India, which attain sexual maturity around 3 months of age. Local boars (n = 20) were castrated at monthly intervals from 2 to 6 months of age (4 boars per month) to study the testicular growth and development and the epididymal spermiogram. Blood samples, collected from local boars (n = 6) at monthly intervals from 2 to 6 months of age, were analyzed for testosterone levels by radioimmunoassay. Compared to Hampshire boars, significantly (P < 0.05) high testosterone levels were observed in the local boars as early as 2 months of age. The mean (± SEM) level of testosterone in the local boars at 2, 3 and 4 months of age was 11.89 ± 1.52, 20.45 ± 1.33 and 20.38 ± 2.0 ngml(-1), respectively. Though there was consistently significant (P < 0.05) difference in the body weight between Hampshire and local pigs, the same was not observed in case of testicular weight except at 3 and 6 months of age. In line with the above observation, the testis:body weight ratio (gram testis per kg body weight) was significantly (P < 0.05) higher in the local boars compared to the Hampshire boars at any time of observation, which ranged from 0.8 to 1.0 in case of Hampshire and from 2.3 to 3.0 in local boars. The sperm concentration in the cauda epididymal fluid of local boars at 2, 3 and 6 months of age was 2255 ± 186.6, 3685 ± 103.8 and 4325 ± 146.2 million/ml, respectively and the sperm motility, viability and total abnormality was 73.3, 75.2 and 6.2%, respectively at 3 months of age. Taken together, the testosterone level, testicular growth and development and epididymal spermiogram indicate the trait of early sexual maturity in the local pigs as compared to Hampshire.

  6. Vitamin A prevents round spermatid nuclear damage and promotes the production of motile sperm during in vitro maturation of vitrified pre-pubertal mouse testicular tissue.

    PubMed

    Dumont, L; Oblette, A; Rondanino, C; Jumeau, F; Bironneau, A; Liot, D; Duchesne, V; Wils, J; Rives, N

    2016-12-01

    Does vitamin A (retinol, Rol) prevent round spermatid nuclear damage and increase the production of motile sperm during in vitro maturation of vitrified pre-pubertal mouse testicular tissue? The supplementation of an in vitro culture of ~0.75 mm(3) testicular explants from pre-pubertal mice with Rol enhances spermatogenesis progression during the first spermatogenic wave. The production of functional spermatozoa in vitro has only been achieved in the mouse model and remains a rare event. Establishing an efficient culture medium for vitrified pre-pubertal testicular tissue is now a crucial step to improve the spermatic yield obtained in vitro. The role of Rol in promoting the differentiation of spermatogonia and their entry into meiosis is well established; however, it has been postulated that Rol is also required to support their full development into elongated spermatids. A total of 60 testes from 6.5 days post-partum (dpp) mice were vitrified/warmed, cut into fragments and cultured for 30 days: 20 testes were used for light microscopy and histological analyses, 20 testes for DNA fragmentation assessment in round spermatids and 20 testes for induced sperm motility assessment. Overall, 16 testes of 6.5 dpp were used as in vitro fresh tissue controls and 12 testes of 36.5 dpp mice as in vivo controls. Testes were vitrified with the optimal solid surface vitrification procedure and cultured with an in vitro organ culture system until Day 30 (D30). Histological analysis, cell death, degenerating round spermatids, DNA fragmentation in round spermatids and induced sperm motility were assessed. Testosterone levels were measured in media throughout the culture by radioimmunoassay. At D30, better tissue development together with higher differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells, and higher global cell division ability were observed for vitrified/warmed testicular fragments of ~0.75 mm(3) with a culture medium supplemented with Rol compared to controls. During in vitro

  7. Sperm proteome and reproductive technologies in mammals.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun-Jin; Wang, Dong; Zhou, Xu

    2016-10-01

    Sperm is highly differentiated cell that can be easily obtained and purified. Mature sperm is considered to be transcriptionally and translationally silent and incapable of protein synthesis. Recently, a large number of proteins have been identified in sperm from different species by using the proteomic approaches. Clinically, sperm proteins can be used as markers for male infertility due to different protein profiles identified in sperm from fertile and infertile male animals. Recent evidences have shown that the conditions of sperm preservation in vitro can also change the sperm protein profiles. This paper reviews the recent scientific publications available to address sperm proteome and their relationship with sperm cryopreservation, capacitation, fertilization, and separation of X and Y sperm. Future directions in the application of sperm proteomics to develop or optimize reproductive technologies in mammals are also discussed.

  8. Effects of altered epididymal sperm transit time on sperm quality.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Carla Dal Bianco; Porto, Elaine Manoela; Arena, Arielle Cristina; Kempinas, Wilma De Grava

    2008-08-01

    The epididymal sperm transit time seems to have an important role in the process of sperm maturation, and it seems that alterations to the transit can harm the process. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the influence of altered sperm transit time through the epididymis on sperm parameters and fertility of rats, as well as the role of testosterone in the alterations. Sprague-Dawley adult male rats were randomly assigned to four different groups and were treated for 12 days: (i) 10 microg/rat/day DES, to accelerate the transit; (ii) 6.25 mg/kg/day guanethidine sulphate, to delay the transit; (iii) same treatment as group 1, plus androgen supplementation; (iv) control animals received the vehicles. Guanethidine treatment delayed the sperm transit time through the epididymal cauda, provoking increased sperm reserves in this region. Animals exposed to DES showed an acceleration of sperm transit time in the epididymis, and consequently decreased sperm density in both epididymal regions, the caput-corpus and cauda, and diminished sperm motility. In both cases sperm production was not altered. Testosterone supplementation was able to restore the transit time to values close to normality, as they were higher than in the control rats. The same occurred in relation to sperm motility. Rats exposed to DES presented lower fertility after in utero artificial insemination using sperm collected from the proximal cauda epididymis. Therefore, it was concluded that the acceleration of rat sperm transit time appeared to harm normal sperm maturation, thus decreasing sperm quality and fertility capacity, in an androgen-dependent way.

  9. Extracellular vesicles: roles in gamete maturation, fertilization and embryo implantation.

    PubMed

    Machtinger, Ronit; Laurent, Louise C; Baccarelli, Andrea A

    2016-01-01

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane-bound vesicles, found in biofluids, that carry and transfer regulatory molecules, such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and proteins, and may mediate intercellular communication between cells and tissues. EVs have been isolated from a wide variety of biofluids, including plasma, urine, and, relevant to this review, seminal, follicular and uterine luminal fluid. We conducted a systematic search of the literature to review and present the currently available evidence on the possible roles of EVs in follicular growth, resumption of oocyte development and maturation (meiosis), sperm maturation, fertilization and embryo implantation. MEDLINE, Embase and Web of Science databases were searched using keywords pertaining to EVs, including 'extracellular vesicles', 'microvesicles', 'microparticles' and 'exosomes', combined with a range of terms associated with the period of development between fertilization and implantation, including 'oocyte', 'sperm', 'semen', 'fertilization', 'implantation', 'embryo', 'follicular fluid', 'epididymal fluid' and 'seminal fluid'. Relevant research articles published in English (both animal and human studies) were reviewed with no restrictions on publication date (i.e. from earliest database dates to July 2015). References from these articles were used to obtain additional articles. A total of 1556 records were retrieved from the three databases. After removing duplicates and irrelevant titles, we reviewed the abstracts of 201 articles, which included 92 relevant articles. Both animal and human studies unequivocally identified various types of EVs in seminal, follicular and ULFs. Several studies provided evidence for the roles of EVs in these biofluids. In men, EVs in seminal fluid were linked with post-testicular sperm maturation, including sperm motility acquisition and reduction of oxidative stress. In women, EVs in follicular fluid were shown to contain miRNAs with potential roles in follicular growth

  10. Types, Causes, Detection and Repair of DNA Fragmentation in Animal and Human Sperm Cells

    PubMed Central

    González-Marín, Clara; Gosálvez, Jaime; Roy, Rosa

    2012-01-01

    Concentration, motility and morphology are parameters commonly used to determine the fertilization potential of an ejaculate. These parameters give a general view on the quality of sperm but do not provide information about one of the most important components of the reproductive outcome: DNA. Either single or double DNA strand breaks can set the difference between fertile and infertile males. Sperm DNA fragmentation can be caused by intrinsic factors like abortive apoptosis, deficiencies in recombination, protamine imbalances or oxidative stress. Damage can also occur due to extrinsic factors such as storage temperatures, extenders, handling conditions, time after ejaculation, infections and reaction to medicines or post-testicular oxidative stress, among others. Two singular characteristics differentiate sperm from somatic cells: Protamination and absence of DNA repair. DNA repair in sperm is terminated as transcription and translation stops post-spermiogenesis, so these cells have no mechanism to repair the damage occurred during their transit through the epididymis and post-ejaculation. Oocytes and early embryos have been shown to repair sperm DNA damage, so the effect of sperm DNA fragmentation depends on the combined effects of sperm chromatin damage and the capacity of the oocyte to repair it. In this contribution we review some of these issues. PMID:23203048

  11. Extracellular vesicles: roles in gamete maturation, fertilization and embryo implantation

    PubMed Central

    Machtinger, Ronit; Laurent, Louise C.; Baccarelli, Andrea A.

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane-bound vesicles, found in biofluids, that carry and transfer regulatory molecules, such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and proteins, and may mediate intercellular communication between cells and tissues. EVs have been isolated from a wide variety of biofluids, including plasma, urine, and, relevant to this review, seminal, follicular and uterine luminal fluid. We conducted a systematic search of the literature to review and present the currently available evidence on the possible roles of EVs in follicular growth, resumption of oocyte development and maturation (meiosis), sperm maturation, fertilization and embryo implantation. METHODS MEDLINE, Embase and Web of Science databases were searched using keywords pertaining to EVs, including ‘extracellular vesicles’, ‘microvesicles’, ‘microparticles’ and ‘exosomes’, combined with a range of terms associated with the period of development between fertilization and implantation, including ‘oocyte’, 'sperm’, 'semen’, 'fertilization’, ‘implantation’, ‘embryo’, ‘follicular fluid’, ‘epididymal fluid’ and ‘seminal fluid’. Relevant research articles published in English (both animal and human studies) were reviewed with no restrictions on publication date (i.e. from earliest database dates to July 2015). References from these articles were used to obtain additional articles. RESULTS A total of 1556 records were retrieved from the three databases. After removing duplicates and irrelevant titles, we reviewed the abstracts of 201 articles, which included 92 relevant articles. Both animal and human studies unequivocally identified various types of EVs in seminal, follicular and ULFs. Several studies provided evidence for the roles of EVs in these biofluids. In men, EVs in seminal fluid were linked with post-testicular sperm maturation, including sperm motility acquisition and reduction of oxidative stress. In women, EVs in follicular fluid were

  12. Proteins associated with critical sperm functions and sperm head shape are differentially expressed in morphologically abnormal bovine sperm induced by scrotal insulation.

    PubMed

    Shojaei Saadi, Habib A; van Riemsdijk, Evine; Dance, Alysha L; Rajamanickam, Gayathri D; Kastelic, John P; Thundathil, Jacob C

    2013-04-26

    The objective was to investigate expression patterns of proteins in pyriform sperm, a common morphological abnormality in bull sperm. Ejaculates were collected from sexually mature Holstein bulls (n=3) twice weekly for 10 weeks (pre-thermal insult samples). Testicular temperature was elevated in all bulls by scrotal insulation for 72 consecutive hours during week 2. Total sperm proteins were extracted from pre- and post-thermal insult sperm samples and subjected to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Among the protein spots detected, 131 spots were significantly expressed (False Detection Rate <0.01) with ≥ 2 fold changes between normal and pyriform sperm. Among them, 25 spots with ≥ 4 fold difference in expression patterns were identified using liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Expression of several proteins involved in sperm capacitation, sperm-egg interaction and sperm cytoskeletal structure was decreased in pyriform sperm, whereas proteins regulating antioxidant activity, apoptosis and metabolic activity were increased. Contents of reactive oxygen species and ubiquitinated proteins were higher in pyriform sperm. In addition to understanding the molecular basis of functional deficiencies in sperm with specific morphological abnormalities, comparing normal versus morphologically abnormal sperm appeared to be a suitable experimental model for identifying important sperm functional proteins. To our knowledge, this study is the first report on differential expression of proteins in pyriform bovine sperm versus morphologically normal sperm. We report that expression of several proteins involved in sperm capacitation, sperm-egg interaction and sperm cytoskeletal structure was decreased in pyriform sperm, whereas proteins which regulate antioxidant activity, apoptosis and metabolic activity were increased. Contents of reactive oxygen species and ubiquitinated proteins were higher in pyriform sperm. In addition to understanding

  13. Feline spermatozoa from fresh and cryopreserved testicular tissues have comparable ability to fertilize matured oocytes and sustain the embryo development after intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    PubMed

    Buarpung, S; Tharasanit, T; Comizzoli, P; Techakumphu, M

    2013-01-01

    Cryopreservation of testicular tissue associated with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a critical tool that still needs to be explored for preserving the fertility of endangered species. Using the domestic cat as a model for wild felids, the study aimed at determining the effect of different cryoprotectants and freezing techniques (two-step freezing vs. controlled slow freezing) on the sperm quality (membrane and DNA integrity). Then, spermatozoa were extracted from frozen-thawed testicular tissues and used for ICSI to assess early gamete activation or developmental competence in vitro. The percentage of spermatozoa with intact plasma membrane was not different (P > 0.05) among nonfrozen control, glycerol-, and ethylene glycol-frozen tissues (63.2 ± 2%, 58.2 ± 2.6%, 53.3 ± 2.3%, respectively). However, these percentages were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in groups of dimethyl sulfoxide (46.3 ± 3.3%) and 1,2 propanediol (44.3 ± 2.9%) when compared with control. Conventional freezing combined with 5% (vol/vol) glycerol best preserved sperm membrane integrity (55.0 ± 2.7%) when compared with other freezing techniques. The incidence of DNA fragmentation was found to be low (0.2%-1.1%) in all freezing protocols. After ICSI with frozen testicular spermatozoa, male and female gametes were asynchronously activated and the percentages of normal fertilization at 6, 12, and 18 hours were 11.2%, 20.6%, and 22.1%, respectively. Metaphase II-arrested oocytes containing or not a decondensed sperm head were predominantly found after ICSI with frozen testicular spermatozoa. Although two-pronucleus formation could be observed as soon as 6 hours post ICSI (10%), the rate increased dramatically after 12 and 18 hours post ICSI (17.2% and 19.5%, respectively). ICSI using frozen-thawed testicular spermatozoa yielded cleavage (32.7%), morula (6.5%), and blastocyst (4.4%) percentages similar to nonfrozen control (P > 0.05). It is concluded that conventional freezing

  14. Effect of recombinant human follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone on in vitro maturation of porcine oocytes evaluated by the subsequent in vitro development of embryos obtained by in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or parthenogenetic activation.

    PubMed

    Silvestre, M A; Alfonso, J; García-Mengual, E; Salvador, I; Duque, C C; Molina, I

    2007-05-01

    The aim of this work was to study the effect of recombinant human (rh) FSH and LH on in vitro maturation of pig oocytes compared with a conventional hormonal supplement based on equine (PMSG) and human chorionic gonadotropins (hCG), as evaluated by the developmental ability of 3 types of pig embryos obtained by in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), or artificial activation (ATA). In Exp. 1, one cumulus-oocyte complex group (A group) was supplemented with rh-FSH and rh-LH (0.1 IU/mL each), and the other group (B group) was supplemented with PMSG and hCG (10 IU/mL each). No differences in nuclear maturation between the A and B groups were observed (68.5 vs. 71.4%, respectively). No differences were detected between hormonal treatments in the rates of cleavage or blastocyst formation of ATA, IVF, and ICSI embryos. Total cell number of the embryos was not significantly different in any experimental group (A: 31.1, 28.5, and 19.8 vs. B: 25.2, 25.5, and 20.6 for ATA, IVF, and ICSI embryos, respectively). In Exp. 2, the effects of different concentrations of rh-FSH and rh-LH (0.5, 0.1, or 0.05 IU/mL) in maturation medium on nuclear maturation and in vitro development of embryos obtained by IVF were studied. No effect of different hormonal concentrations on blastocyst formation rates was observed (8.5, 13.0, and 5.7%, respectively). Blastocyst cell number was not different in any experimental group. In conclusion, the results obtained here permit us to substitute PMSG and hCG with rh-FSH and rh-LH and to produce pig embryos obtained by IVF, ICSI, or ATA.

  15. Association of sperm morphology and the sperm deformity index (SDI) with poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage inhibition.

    PubMed

    Aziz, Nabil; Sharma, Rakesh K; Mahfouz, Reda; Jha, Rajesh; Agarwal, Ashok

    2011-06-30

    Apoptosis was induced in immature and mature sperm in the presence or absence of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor. The association of cleaved (cPARP) with sperm morphology was examined using sperm deformity index (SDI) score. The SDI scores are associated with PARP cleavage as an early marker of apoptosis.

  16. Sperm and Oocyte Communication Mechanisms Controlling C. elegans Fertility

    PubMed Central

    Han, Sung Min; Cottee, Pauline A.; Miller, Michael A.

    2010-01-01

    During sexual reproduction in many species, sperm and oocyte secrete diffusible signaling molecules to help orchestrate the biological symphony of fertilization. In the Caenorhabditis elegans gonad, bidirectional signaling between sperm and oocyte is important for guiding sperm to the fertilization site and inducing oocyte maturation. The molecular mechanisms that regulate sperm guidance and oocyte maturation are being delineated. Unexpectedly, these mechanisms are providing insight into human diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy, and cancer. Here we review sperm and oocyte communication in C. elegans and discuss relationships to human disorders. PMID:20034089

  17. Intracellular pH in sperm physiology.

    PubMed

    Nishigaki, Takuya; José, Omar; González-Cota, Ana Laura; Romero, Francisco; Treviño, Claudia L; Darszon, Alberto

    2014-08-01

    Intracellular pH (pHi) regulation is essential for cell function. Notably, several unique sperm ion transporters and enzymes whose elimination causes infertility are either pHi dependent or somehow related to pHi regulation. Amongst them are: CatSper, a Ca(2+) channel; Slo3, a K(+) channel; the sperm-specific Na(+)/H(+) exchanger and the soluble adenylyl cyclase. It is thus clear that pHi regulation is of the utmost importance for sperm physiology. This review briefly summarizes the key components involved in pHi regulation, their characteristics and participation in fundamental sperm functions such as motility, maturation and the acrosome reaction.

  18. Endocannabinoids, sperm functions and energy metabolism.

    PubMed

    Rossato, Marco

    2008-04-16

    Cannabinoids, the main active components of marijuana, have been shown to exert different adverse effects on male reproduction both in vertebrates and invertebrates. The main effects of endocannabinoids, a particular group of endogenously produced cannabinoids, in sperm are the inhibition of motility, capacitation and acrosome reaction, all fundamental processes necessary for oocyte penetration, whose alteration leads to the inhibition of sperm fertilizing ability. These inhibitory effects are mediated by the direct action of endocannabinoids on sperm through the activation of the cannabinoid receptor subtype 1 that has been shown to be expressed in mature sperm. In many different cell types it has been demonstrated that endocannabinoids negatively influence mitochondrial activity. In the present paper it will be briefly reviewed the role of endocannabinoids, on sperm motility, capacitation and acrosome reaction with particular attention on the possible interference of endocannabinoids with sperm mitochondrial activity.

  19. Sugar‐coated sperm: Unraveling the functions of the mammalian sperm glycocalyx

    PubMed Central

    Tecle, Eillen

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Mammalian spermatozoa are coated with a thick glycocalyx that is assembled during sperm development, maturation, and upon contact with seminal fluid. The sperm glycocalyx is critical for sperm survival in the female reproductive tract and is modified during capacitation. The complex interplay among the various glycoconjugates generates numerous signaling motifs that may regulate sperm function and, as a result, fertility. Nascent spermatozoa assemble their own glycans while the cells still possess a functional endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi in the seminiferous tubule, but once spermatogenesis is complete, they lose the capacity to produce glycoconjugates de novo. Sperm glycans continue to be modified, during epididymal transit by extracellular glycosidases and glycosyltransferases. Furthermore, epididymal cells secrete glycoconjugates (glycophosphatidylinositol‐anchored glycoproteins and glycolipids) and glycan‐rich microvesicles that can fuse with the maturing sperm membrane. The sperm glycocalyx mediates numerous functions in the female reproductive tract, including the following: inhibition of premature capacitation; passage through the cervical mucus; protection from innate and adaptive female immunity; formation of the sperm reservoir; and masking sperm proteins involved in fertilization. The immense diversity in sperm‐associated glycans within and between species forms a remarkable challenge to our understanding of essential sperm glycan functions. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 82: 635–650, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. Molecular Reproduction and Development published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26061344

  20. High exposure to progesterone between the end of menstruation and the day of triggering final oocyte maturation is associated with a decreased probability of pregnancy in patients treated by in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    PubMed

    Kyrou, Dimitra; Kolibianakis, Efstratios M; Fatemi, Human M; Camus, Michel; Tournaye, Herman; Tarlatzis, Basil C; Devroey, Paul

    2011-10-01

    To investigate the association between the probability of pregnancy and hormone exposure between the end of menstruation and the day of triggering final oocyte maturation (menstruation-free interval). Prospective study. University. One hundred women (aged ≤ 39 years) stimulated with a fixed dose of recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (200 IU). Daily gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist (GnRH, 0.25 mg) used from day 6 of stimulation onward, final oocyte maturation triggered by administration of 10,000 IU of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) as soon as ≥ 3 follicles ≥ 17 mm were present, and hormone assessment performed at initiation of stimulation, on the first day after menstruation had stopped, on the day of antagonist initiation, and on the day of hCG administration. The association between hormone exposure during the menstruation-free interval and the probability of ongoing pregnancy. The exposure to progesterone during the menstruation-free interval was statistically significantly higher in patients who did not become pregnant compared with those who did (4.20 ± 2.54 vs. 3.13 ± 1.14, respectively). Binary logistic regression confirmed the adverse effect of the increased exposure to progesterone for the achievement of pregnancy. In recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone/gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles, a lower probability of pregnancy is associated with a higher exposure to progesterone during the menstruation-free interval. Copyright © 2011 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. A germline-specific isoform of eIF4E (IFE-1) is required for efficient translation of stored mRNAs and maturation of both oocytes and sperm.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Melissa A; Cronland, Elizabeth; Dunkelbarger, Steve; Contreras, Vince; Strome, Susan; Keiper, Brett D

    2009-05-15

    Fertility and embryonic viability are measures of efficient germ cell growth and development. During oogenesis and spermatogenesis, new proteins are required for both mitotic expansion and differentiation. Qualitative and quantitative changes in protein synthesis occur by translational control of mRNAs, mediated in part by eIF4E, which binds the mRNAs 5' cap. IFE-1 is one of five eIF4E isoforms identified in C. elegans. IFE-1 is expressed primarily in the germ line and associates with P granules, large mRNPs that store mRNAs. We isolated a strain that lacks IFE-1 [ife-1(bn127)] and demonstrated that the translation of several maternal mRNAs (pos-1, pal-1, mex-1 and oma-1) was inefficient relative to that in wild-type worms. At 25 degrees C, ife-1(bn127) spermatocytes failed in cytokinesis, prematurely expressed the pro-apoptotic protein CED-4/Apaf-1, and accumulated as multinucleate cells unable to mature to spermatids. A modest defect in oocyte development was also observed. Oocytes progressed normally through mitosis and meiosis, but subsequent production of competent oocytes became limiting, even in the presence of wild-type sperm. Combined gametogenesis defects decreased worm fertility by 80% at 20 degrees C; ife-1 worms were completely sterile at 25 degrees C. Thus, IFE-1 plays independent roles in late oogenesis and spermatogenesis through selective translation of germline-specific mRNAs.

  2. A novel SoxB2 gene is required for maturation of sperm nucleus during spermiogenesis in the Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhi-Qiang; Jiang, Xue-Hui; Qi, Hai-Yan; Xiong, Liang-Wei; Qiu, Gao-Feng

    2016-01-01

    SRY-related HMG box (Sox) genes are characterized by the presence of a DNA-binding HMG domain and involved in a diverse range of developmental processes. In this study, we identified a novel Sox gene, designated as EsSoxB2-1, from the Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis. The EsSoxB2-1 encodes a protein of 259 amino acids, sharing the highest identity with the beetle Tribolium castaneum SOX21b. Unlike insect Sox21b, however, EsSoxB2-1 is intronless and exhibits a gonad-specific expression pattern at both mRNA and protein level. Two core promoters in 5′ flanking region were demonstrated to be essential for inducing transcriptional regulatory activity. The transcription of EsSoxB2-1 mRNA begins in spermatogonia stage, while the translation of EsSOXB2-1 protein initiates at spermiogenesis stage. Interestingly, EsSOXB2-1 protein was exclusively localized in the nucleus of spermatid and spermatozoa even at the end of acrosome reaction, and was bound to the uncondensed chromatin in nucleoplasm of mature spermatozoa. Knockdown of EsSoxB2-1 by RNAi leads to abnormal transformation of the nucleus during spermiogenesis. Together, these findings demonstrated the requirement of EsSoxB2-1 for the spermatozoa nucleus maturation and also suggested that EsSoxB2-1 would be delivered into fertilized eggs along with chromatins as a paternal transcription factor for regulating early embryonic development. PMID:27561408

  3. Sperm competition leads to functional adaptations in avian testes to maximize sperm quantity and quality.

    PubMed

    Lüpold, Stefan; Wistuba, Joachim; Damm, Oliver S; Rivers, James W; Birkhead, Tim R

    2011-05-01

    The outcome of sperm competition (i.e. competition for fertilization between ejaculates from different males) is primarily determined by the relative number and quality of rival sperm. Therefore, the testes are under strong selection to maximize both sperm number and quality, which are likely to result in trade-offs in the process of spermatogenesis (e.g. between the rate of spermatogenesis and sperm length or sperm energetics). Comparative studies have shown positive associations between the level of sperm competition and both relative testis size and the proportion of seminiferous (sperm-producing) tissue within the testes. However, it is unknown how the seminiferous tissue itself or the process of spermatogenesis might evolve in response to sperm competition. Therefore, we quantified the different germ cell types and Sertoli cells (SC) in testes to assess the efficiency of sperm production and its associations with sperm length and mating system across 10 species of New World Blackbirds (Icteridae) that show marked variation in sperm length and sperm competition level. We found that species under strong sperm competition generate more round spermatids (RS)/spermatogonium and have SC that support a greater number of germ cells, both of which are likely to increase the maximum sperm output. However, fewer of the RS appeared to elongate to mature spermatozoa in these species, which might be the result of selection for discarding spermatids with undesirable characteristics as they develop. Our results suggest that, in addition to overall size and gross morphology, testes have also evolved functional adaptations to maximize sperm quantity and quality.

  4. Virtual azoospermia and cryptozoospermia--fresh/frozen testicular or ejaculate sperm for better IVF outcome?

    PubMed

    Hauser, Ron; Bibi, Guy; Yogev, Leah; Carmon, Ariella; Azem, Foad; Botchan, Amnon; Yavetz, Haim; Klieman, Sandra E; Lehavi, Ofer; Amit, Ami; Ben-Yosef, Dalit

    2011-01-01

    Men diagnosed as having azoospermia occasionally have a few mature sperm cells in other ejaculates. Other men may have constant, yet very low quality and quantity of sperm cells in their ejaculates, resulting in poor intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) outcome. It has not been conclusively established which source of sperm cells is preferable for ICSI when both ejaculate and testicular (fresh or frozen) sperm cells are available. It is also unclear whether there is any advantage of fresh over frozen sperm if testicular sperm is to be used. We used ejaculate, testicular (fresh or frozen) sperm cells, or both for ICSI in 13 couples. Five of these couples initially underwent ICSI by testicular sperm extraction, because the males had total azoospermia, and in later cycles with ejaculate sperm cells. Ejaculate sperm cells were initially used for ICSI in the other 8 patients, and later with testicular sperm cells. The fertilization rate was significantly higher when fresh or frozen-thawed testicular sperm cells were used than when ejaculated sperm cells were used. Likewise, the quality of the embryos from testicular (fresh and frozen) sperm was higher than from ejaculated sperm (65.3% vs 53.2%, respectively, P < .05). The use of fresh testicular sperm yielded better implantation rates than both frozen testicular sperm and ejaculate. Therefore, fresh testicular sperm should be considered first for ICSI in patients with virtual azoospermia or cryptozoospermia because of their superior fertility.

  5. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens

    PubMed Central

    den Boer, Susanne P. A.; Baer, Boris; Dreier, Stephanie; Aron, Serge; Nash, David R.; Boomsma, Jacobus J.

    2009-01-01

    In many species, females store sperm between copulation and egg fertilization, but the consequences of sperm storage and patterns of sperm use for female life history and reproductive success have not been investigated in great detail. In hymenopteran insect societies (ants, bees, wasps), reproduction is usually monopolized by one or relatively few queens, who mate only during a brief period early in life and store sperm for later use. The queens of some ants are particularly long-lived and have the potential to produce millions of offspring during their life. To do so, queens store many sperm cells, and this sperm must remain viable throughout the years of storage. Queens should also be under strong selection to use stored sperm prudently when fertilizing eggs. We used the leaf-cutter ant Atta colombica to investigate the dynamics of sperm use during egg fertilization. We show that queens are able to fertilize close to 100 per cent of the eggs and that the average sperm use per egg is very low, but increases with queen age. The robustness of stored sperm was found to decrease with years of storage, signifying that senescence affects sperm either directly or indirectly via the declining glandular secretions or deteriorating sperm-storage organs. We evaluate our findings with a heuristic model, which suggests that the average queen has sperm for almost 9 years of normal colony development. We discuss the extent to which leaf-cutter ant queens have been able to optimize their sperm expenditure and infer that our observed averages of sperm number, sperm robustness and sperm use are consistent with sperm depletion being a significant cause of mortality of mature colonies of Atta leaf-cutter ants. PMID:19710057

  6. Prudent sperm use by leaf-cutter ant queens.

    PubMed

    den Boer, Susanne P A; Baer, Boris; Dreier, Stephanie; Aron, Serge; Nash, David R; Boomsma, Jacobus J

    2009-11-22

    In many species, females store sperm between copulation and egg fertilization, but the consequences of sperm storage and patterns of sperm use for female life history and reproductive success have not been investigated in great detail. In hymenopteran insect societies (ants, bees, wasps), reproduction is usually monopolized by one or relatively few queens, who mate only during a brief period early in life and store sperm for later use. The queens of some ants are particularly long-lived and have the potential to produce millions of offspring during their life. To do so, queens store many sperm cells, and this sperm must remain viable throughout the years of storage. Queens should also be under strong selection to use stored sperm prudently when fertilizing eggs. We used the leaf-cutter ant Atta colombica to investigate the dynamics of sperm use during egg fertilization. We show that queens are able to fertilize close to 100 per cent of the eggs and that the average sperm use per egg is very low, but increases with queen age. The robustness of stored sperm was found to decrease with years of storage, signifying that senescence affects sperm either directly or indirectly via the declining glandular secretions or deteriorating sperm-storage organs. We evaluate our findings with a heuristic model, which suggests that the average queen has sperm for almost 9 years of normal colony development. We discuss the extent to which leaf-cutter ant queens have been able to optimize their sperm expenditure and infer that our observed averages of sperm number, sperm robustness and sperm use are consistent with sperm depletion being a significant cause of mortality of mature colonies of Atta leaf-cutter ants.

  7. A comparison of ejaculated and testicular spermatozoa aneuploidy rates in patients with high sperm DNA damage.

    PubMed

    Moskovtsev, Sergey I; Alladin, Naazish; Lo, Kirk C; Jarvi, Keith; Mullen, J Brendan M; Librach, Clifford L

    2012-06-01

    Testicular spermatozoa are utilized to achieve pregnancy in couples with severe male factor infertility. Several studies suggest that aneuploidy rates in spermatozoa are elevated at the testicular level in infertile patients compared to ejaculates of normal controls. However, essential data regarding aneuploidy rates between ejaculated and testicular spermatozoa in the same individuals is lacking. The purpose of our study was to compare aneuploidy rates at the testicular and post-testicular level from the same patients with persistently high sperm DNA damage. Ejaculates and testicular biopsies were obtained from eight patients with persistently high DNA damage (>30%). Both ejaculated and testicular samples were analyzed for sperm DNA damage and sperm aneuploidy for chromosomes 13, 18, 21, X, and Y. In addition, semen samples from ten normozoospermic men presenting for fertility evaluation served as a control group. A strong correlation between the alteration of spermatogenesis and chromatin deterioration was observed in our study. In the same individuals, testicular samples showed a significantly lower DNA damage compared to ejaculated spermatozoa (14.9% ± 5.0 vs. 40.6% ± 14.8, P<0.05), but significantly higher aneuploidy rates for the five analyzed chromosomes (12.41% ± 3.7 vs. 5.77% ± 1.2, P<0.05). While testicular spermatozoa appear favourable for ICSI in terms of lower DNA damage, this potential advantage could be offset by the higher aneuploidy rates in testicular spermatozoa.

  8. Acrosomo-nuclear syndrome in canine sperm.

    PubMed

    Hrudka, F

    1983-01-01

    An acrosomo-nuclear syndrome in sperm of an infertile semicryptorchid dog is described. Based on an EM study of developing and mature sperm the syndrome is defined by simultaneous occurrence of these symptoms: 1) intranuclear inclusions of acrosomal origin, 2) maldifferentiated apical segment of acrosome, 3) intraacrosomal inclusions of Sertoli cell origin, 4) characteristic change of nuclear shape and 5) retained cytoplasmic droplet. The cause of the syndrome and possibility of a transfer of somatic factors are discussed.

  9. The Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) sperm proteome.

    PubMed

    Skerget, Sheri; Rosenow, Matthew; Polpitiya, Ashoka; Petritis, Konstantinos; Dorus, Steve; Karr, Timothy L

    2013-11-01

    Mass spectrometry based proteomics has facilitated sperm composition studies in several mammalian species but no studies have been undertaken in non-human primate species. Here we report the analysis of the 1247 proteins that comprise the Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) sperm proteome (termed the MacSP). Comparative analysis with previously characterized mouse and human sperm proteomes reveals substantial levels of orthology (47% and 40% respectively) and widespread overlap of functional categories based on Gene Ontology analyses. Approximately 10% of macaque sperm genes (113/1247) are significantly under-expressed in the testis as compared with other tissues, which may reflect proteins specifically acquired during epididymal maturation. Phylogenetic and genomic analyses of three MacSP ADAMs (A-Disintegrin and Metalloprotease proteins), ADAM18-, 20- and 21-like, provides empirical support for sperm genes functioning in non-human primate taxa which have been subsequently lost in the lineages leading to humans. The MacSP contains proteasome proteins of the 20S core subunit, the 19S proteasome activator complex and an alternate proteasome activator PA200, raising the possibility that proteasome activity is present in mature sperm. Robust empirical characterization of the Rhesus sperm proteome should greatly expand the possibility for targeted molecular studies of spermatogenesis and fertilization in a commonly used model species for human infertility.

  10. The Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta) Sperm Proteome*

    PubMed Central

    Skerget, Sheri; Rosenow, Matthew; Polpitiya, Ashoka; Petritis, Konstantinos; Dorus, Steve; Karr, Timothy L.

    2013-01-01

    Mass spectrometry based proteomics has facilitated sperm composition studies in several mammalian species but no studies have been undertaken in non-human primate species. Here we report the analysis of the 1247 proteins that comprise the Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) sperm proteome (termed the MacSP). Comparative analysis with previously characterized mouse and human sperm proteomes reveals substantial levels of orthology (47% and 40% respectively) and widespread overlap of functional categories based on Gene Ontology analyses. Approximately 10% of macaque sperm genes (113/1247) are significantly under-expressed in the testis as compared with other tissues, which may reflect proteins specifically acquired during epididymal maturation. Phylogenetic and genomic analyses of three MacSP ADAMs (A-Disintegrin and Metalloprotease proteins), ADAM18-, 20- and 21-like, provides empirical support for sperm genes functioning in non-human primate taxa which have been subsequently lost in the lineages leading to humans. The MacSP contains proteasome proteins of the 20S core subunit, the 19S proteasome activator complex and an alternate proteasome activator PA200, raising the possibility that proteasome activity is present in mature sperm. Robust empirical characterization of the Rhesus sperm proteome should greatly expand the possibility for targeted molecular studies of spermatogenesis and fertilization in a commonly used model species for human infertility. PMID:23816990

  11. Early Versus Late Maturation Arrest: Reproductive Outcomes of Testicular Failure

    PubMed Central

    Weedin, John W.; Bennett, Richard C.; Fenig, David M.; Lamb, Dolores J.; Lipshultz, Larry I.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose There is a paucity of data characterizing infertile men with maturation arrest. We hypothesized that men with early stage maturation arrest could be clinically distinguished from men with late maturation arrest and would have worse reproductive outcomes. Materials and Methods We retrospectively reviewed the records of all patients with nonobstructive azoospermia and cryptozoospermia who underwent testis mapping and sperm extraction from 2002 to 2009 and for whom histopathological findings were available. Patients had uniform maturation arrest if multiple biopsies revealed maturation arrest at the spermatogonia/spermatocyte (early maturation arrest) or the spermatid (late maturation arrest) stage. Clinical parameters and pregnancy outcomes of in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection were examined. Statistical analysis consisted of univariate and multivariate analysis. Results Uniform maturation arrest was identified in 49 of 219 men (22.3%) undergoing testicular sperm extraction. On multivariate analysis men with maturation arrest had significantly larger testes (p = 0.01), decreased follicle-stimulating hormone (p = 0.05) and more detectable genetic abnormalities (p = 0.01) than men with other histopathological conditions. Men with late maturation arrest had decreased follicle-stimulating hormone (p = 0.02), increased testosterone (p = 0.03) and a higher sperm retrieval rate at testicular sperm extraction (p = 0.01) than men with early maturation arrest. Predictors of successful sperm retrieval were larger testes, cryptozoospermia, late maturation arrest and hypospermatogenesis (each p ≤0.05). Pregnancy outcomes for men with maturation arrest were not significantly different from those for men with other histopathological conditions. Conclusions Maturation arrest is a common, diverse histopathological subtype of severe male infertility. Compared to men with late maturation arrest those with early maturation arrest have increased follicle

  12. Sperm cells manipulation employing dielectrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Rosales-Cruzaley, E; Cota-Elizondo, P A; Sánchez, D; Lapizco-Encinas, Blanca H

    2013-10-01

    Infertility studies are an important growing field, where new methods for the manipulation, enrichment and selection of sperm cells are required. Microfluidic techniques offer attractive advantages such as requirement of low sample volume and short processing times in the range of second or minutes. Presented here is the application of insulator-based dielectrophoresis (iDEP) for the enrichment and separation of mature and spermatogenic cells by employing a microchannel with cylindrical insulating structures with DC electric potentials in the range of 200-1500 V. The results demonstrated that iDEP has the potential to concentrate sperm cells and distinguish between mature and spermatogenic cells by exploiting the differences in shape which lead to differences in electric polarization. Viability assessments revealed that a significant percentage of the cells are viable after the dielectrophoretic treatment, opening the possibility for iDEP to be developed as a tool in infertility studies.

  13. Management and Breeding Soundness of Mature Bulls.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Colin W

    2016-07-01

    Mature bulls must be fed a balanced ration, vaccinated appropriately, and undergo a breeding soundness evaluation to ensure they meet what is required of a short, but intense breeding season. To be classified as a satisfactory potential breeder, minimum standards for physical soundness, scrotal circumference, sperm motility, and sperm morphology must be achieved using an accepted bull-breeding soundness evaluation format. Sperm production requires approximately 70 days. Heat and stress are the most common insults to spermatogenesis, causing an increase in morphologic abnormalities with obesity-associated scrotal fat accumulation being the most frequent cause of elevated testicular temperature in mature bulls.

  14. Etiologies of sperm oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    Sabeti, Parvin; Pourmasumi, Soheila; Rahiminia, Tahereh; Akyash, Fatemeh; Talebi, Ali Reza

    2016-01-01

    Sperm is particularly susceptible to reactive oxygen species (ROS) during critical phases of spermiogenesis. However, the level of seminal ROS is restricted by seminal antioxidants which have beneficial effects on sperm parameters and developmental potentials. Mitochondria and sperm plasma membrane are two major sites of ROS generation in sperm cells. Besides, leukocytes including polymer phonuclear (PMN) leukocytes and macrophages produce broad category of molecules including oxygen free radicals, non-radical species and reactive nitrogen species. Physiological role of ROS increase the intracellular cAMP which then activate protein kinase in male reproductive system. This indicates that spermatozoa need small amounts of ROS to acquire the ability of nuclear maturation regulation and condensation to fertilize the oocyte. There is a long list of intrinsic and extrinsic factors which can induce oxidative stress to interact with lipids, proteins and DNA molecules. As a result, we have lipid peroxidation, DNA fragmentation, axonemal damage, denaturation of the enzymes, over generation of superoxide in the mitochondria, lower antioxidant activity and finally abnormal spermatogenesis. If oxidative stress is considered as one of the main cause of DNA damage in the germ cells, then there should be good reason for antioxidant therapy in these conditions. PMID:27351024

  15. Intracellular pH in Sperm Physiology

    PubMed Central

    Nishigaki, Takuya; José, Omar; González-Cota, Ana Laura; Romero, Francisco; Treviño, Claudia L.; Darszon, Alberto

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular pH (pHi) regulation is essential for cell function. Notably, several unique sperm ion transporters and enzymes whose elimination causes infertility are either pHi dependent or somehow related to pHi regulation. Amongst them are: CatSper, a Ca2+ channel; Slo3, a K+ channel; the sperm-specific Na+/H+ exchanger and the soluble adenylyl cyclase. It is thus clear that pHi regulation is of the utmost importance for sperm physiology. This review briefly summarizes the key components involved in pHi regulation, their characteristics and participation in fundamental sperm functions such as motility, maturation and the acrosome reaction. PMID:24887564

  16. Accurate sperm morphology assessment predicts sperm function.

    PubMed

    Abu Hassan Abu, D; Franken, D R; Hoffman, B; Henkel, R

    2012-05-01

    Sperm morphology has been associated with in vitro as well as in vivo fertilisation. The study aimed to evaluate the possible relation between the percentage of spermatozoa with normal morphology and the following sperm functional assays: (i) zona-induced acrosome reaction (ZIAR); (ii) DNA integrity; (iii) chromatin condensation; (iv) sperm apoptosis; and (v) fertilisation rates. Regression analysis was employed to calculate the association between morphology and different functional tests. Normal sperm morphology correlated significantly with the percentages of live acrosome-reacted spermatozoa in the ZIAR (r = 0.518; P < 0.0001; n = 92), DNA integrity (r = -0.515; P = 0.0018; n = 34), CMA(3) -positive spermatozoa (r = -0.745; P < 0.0001; n = 92), sperm apoptosis (r = -0.395; P = 0.0206; n = 34) and necrosis (r = -0.545; P = 0.0009; n = 34). Negative correlations existed between for the acrosome reaction, and DNA integrity, while negative associations were recorded with the percentages of CMA(3) -positive spermatozoa, apoptotic and necrotic spermatozoa. Sperm morphology is related to sperm dysfunction such as poor chromatin condensation, acrosome reaction and DNA integrity. Negative and significant correlations existed between normal sperm morphology and chromatin condensation, the percentage of spermatozoa with abnormal DNA and spermatozoa with apoptotic activity. The authors do not regard sperm morphology as the only test for the diagnosis of male fertility, but sperm morphology can serve as a valuable indicator of underlying dysfunction.

  17. Factors influencing sperm retrieval following testicular sperm extraction in nonobstructive azoospermia patients.

    PubMed

    Salehi, Peyman; Derakhshan-Horeh, Marzieh; Nadeali, Zakiye; Hosseinzadeh, Majid; Sadeghi, Erfan; Izadpanahi, Mohammad Hossein; Salehi, Mansour

    2017-03-01

    Azoospermia owing to testicular disorders is the most severe manifestation of male infertility. The main concern for patients with nonobstructive azoospermia (NOA) is the probability of successful sperm retrieval following testicular sperm extraction (TESE). Therefore, the goal of this study was to determine predictive factors correlated with sperm retrieval. We assessed the testicular histopathological patterns, the choice of TESE surgical procedure, hormone levels, and chromosomal abnormalities in patients with NOA (n=170). The histopathology specimens were analyzed based on the histopathological patterns of hypospermatogenesis, maturation arrest, and Sertoli cell-only syndrome. The mean rate of sperm retrieval was 48.8%. The rate of sperm retrieval was significantly higher in the hypospermatogenesis group than in the other groups (p<0.001). There was a positive correlation between micro-TESE (vs. conventional TESE) and the sperm retrieval rate (odds ratio, 8.077; p<0.01). A logistic regression model demonstrated that high levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and small testicular volume were significantly associated with lower chances of successful sperm retrieval. Some parameters, including testicular histopathology patterns, FSH levels, testicular volume, and method of TESE surgery, may be able to predict the chances of obtaining spermatozoa in patients with NOA. However, despite the efficiency of some predictive models, the hope of retrieving any functioning spermatozoa may be sufficient to disregard predictive factors of the success of intracytoplasmic sperm injection in these patients.

  18. Comparative Transcriptomics of Arabidopsis thaliana Sperm Cells

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    In flowering plants the two sperm cells are embedded within the cytoplasm of the growing pollen tube and as such are passively transported to the embryo sac, wherein double fertilization occurs upon their release. Understanding the mechanisms and conditions by which male gametes mature and take part...

  19. Protective effect of hyaluronic acid on cryopreserved boar sperm.

    PubMed

    Qian, Li; Yu, Sijiu; Zhou, Yan

    2016-06-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effects of supplementing freezing and thawing media with hyaluronic acid (HA) on the quality parameters of frozen-thawed boar spermatozoa. Boar semen samples were collected from seven mature Yorkshire boars once a week using the gloved hand technique; these samples were frozen-thawed in the extender with added HA. Boar sperm was cryopreserved in the extender with HA added at concentrations of 0 (used as control), 4, 6, 8, 8 and 12mg/L, and their effects on the quality of frozen-thawed boar sperm were evaluated. HA addition to the extender significantly improved sperm motility, sperm membrane integrity, mitochondrial activity, acrosomal integrity, superoxide dismutase and catalase activity, but decreased sperm malondialdehyde level (p<0.05). Therefore, HA could be a promising cryoprotectant for boar sperm.

  20. Insights into the lysine acetylproteome of human sperm.

    PubMed

    Sun, Guohai; Jiang, Min; Zhou, Tao; Guo, Yueshuai; Cui, Yiqiang; Guo, Xuejiang; Sha, Jiahao

    2014-09-23

    Protein lysine acetylation is a dynamic and reversible post-modification that is known to play diverse functions in eukaryotes. Nevertheless, the composition and function of non-histone lysine acetylation in gametes remain unknown. In humans, only capacitated sperm have the capacity to fertilize an egg. In the present study, we found complex composition of lysine acetylated proteins in capacitated human sperm. In vitro fertilization inhibition assay by anti-acetyllysine antibody showed essential roles of lysine acetylation in fertilization. And inhibition of lysine deacetylases, the histone deacetylases, by trichostatin A and nicotinamide, could significantly suppress sperm motility. After immunopurification enrichment of acetylpeptides with anti-acetyllysine antibody and high-throughput liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry identification, we characterized 1206 lysine acetylated sites, corresponding to 576 lysine acetylated proteins in human capacitated sperm. Bioinformatics analysis showed that these proteins are associated with sperm functions, including motility, capacitation, acrosome reaction and sperm-egg interaction. Thus, lysine acetylation is expected to be an important regulatory mechanism for sperm functions. And our characterization of lysine acetylproteome could be a rich resource for the study of male fertility. Mature sperm are almost transcriptionally and translationally silent, thus post-translational modifications play important roles in sperm functions. Till now, only two types of PTMs, phosphorylation and glycosylation, are well studied in normal human sperm based on large scale proteomics. In the present study, we established the acetylproteome of capacitated human sperm. Over 1000 lysine acetylated sites were identified. Bioinformatics analysis shows that lysine acetylated proteins participate in many biological events of sperm functions. We further provided functional data that the lysine acetylation is essential for sperm motility

  1. Ca2+-stores in sperm: their identities and functions

    PubMed Central

    Costello, Sarah; Michelangeli, Francesco; Nash, Kate; Lefievre, Linda; Morris, Jennifer; Machado-Oliveira, Gisela; Barratt, Christopher; Kirkman-Brown, Jackson; Publicover, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    Intracellular Ca2+ stores play a central role in the regulation of cellular [Ca2+]i and the generation of complex [Ca2+] signals such as oscillations and waves. Ca2+ signalling is of particular significance in sperm cells, where it is a central regulator in many key activities (including capacitation, hyperactivation, chemotaxis and acrosome reaction) yet mature sperm lack endoplasmic reticulum and several other organelles which serve as Ca2+ stores in somatic cells. Here we review (i) the evidence for the expression in sperm of the molecular components (pumps and channels) which are functionally significant in the activity of Ca2+ stores of somatic cells and (ii) the evidence for the existence of functional Ca2+ stores in sperm. This evidence supports the existence of at least two storage organelles in mammalian sperm, one in the acrosomal region and another in the region of the sperm neck and midpiece. We then go on to discuss the likely identity of these organelles and their discrete functions: regulation by the acrosome of its own secretion and regulation by membranous organelles at the sperm neck (and possibly by the mitochondria) of flagellar activity and hyperactivation. Finally we consider the ability of the sperm discretely to control mobilisation of these stores and the functional interaction of stored Ca2+ at the sperm neck/midpiece with CatSper channels in the principal piece in regulation of the activities of mammalian sperm. PMID:19542252

  2. Sperm head phenotype and male fertility in ram semen.

    PubMed

    Maroto-Morales, A; Ramón, M; García-Álvarez, O; Montoro, V; Soler, A J; Fernández-Santos, M R; Roldan, E R S; Pérez-Guzmán, M D; Garde, J J

    2015-12-01

    Although there is ample evidence for the effects of sperm head shape on sperm function, its impact on fertility has not been explored in detail at the intraspecific level in mammals. Here, we assess the relationship between sperm head shape and male fertility in a large-scale study in Manchega sheep (Ovis aries), which have not undergone any selection for fertility. Semen was collected from 83 mature rams, and before insemination, head shapes were measured for five parameters: area, perimeter, length, width, and p2a (perimeter(2)/2×π×area) using a computer-assisted sperm morphometric analysis. In addition, a cluster analysis using sperm head length and p2a factor was performed to determine sperm subpopulations (SPs) structure. Our results show the existence of four sperm SPs, which present different sperm head phenotype: SP1 (large and round), SP2 (short and elongated), SP3 (shortest and round), and SP4 (large and the most elongated). No relationships were found between males' fertility rates and average values of sperm head dimensions. However, differences in fertility rates between rams were strongly associated to the proportion of spermatozoa in an ejaculate SP with short and elongated heads (P < 0.001). These findings show how the heterogeneity in sperm head shape of the ejaculate has an effect on reproductive success, and highlight the important role of modulation of the ejaculate at the intraspecific level.

  3. Sperm release pathway

    MedlinePlus

    ... vas deferens, a muscular tube, which propels sperm forward through smooth muscle contractions. The sperm arrive first ... added. From the ampulla, seminal fluid is propelled forward through the ejaculatory ducts toward the urethra, passing ...

  4. Not All Sperm Are Equal: Functional Mitochondria Characterize a Subpopulation of Human Sperm with Better Fertilization Potential

    PubMed Central

    Sousa, Ana Paula; Amaral, Alexandra; Baptista, Marta; Tavares, Renata; Caballero Campo, Pedro; Caballero Peregrín, Pedro; Freitas, Albertina; Paiva, Artur; Almeida-Santos, Teresa; Ramalho-Santos, João

    2011-01-01

    Human sperm samples are very heterogeneous and include a low amount of truly functional gametes. Distinct strategies have been developed to characterize and isolate this specific subpopulation. In this study we have used fluorescence microscopy and fluorescence-activated cell sorting to determine if mitochondrial function, as assessed using mitochondrial-sensitive probes, could be employed as a criterion to obtain more functional sperm from a given ejaculate. We first determined that mitochondrial activity correlated with the quality of distinct human samples, from healthy donors to patients with decreased semen quality. Furthermore, using fluorescence-activated cell sorting to separate sperm with active and inactive mitochondria we found that this was also true within samples. Indeed, sperm with active mitochondria defined a more functional subpopulation, which contained more capacitated and acrosome intact cells, sperm with lower chromatin damage, and, crucially, sperm more able to decondense and participate in early development using both chemical induction and injection into mature bovine oocytes. Furthermore, cell sorting using mitochondrial activity produced a more functional sperm subpopulation than classic swim-up, both in terms of improvement in a variety of functional sperm parameters and in statistical significance. In conclusion, whatever the true biological role of sperm mitochondria in fertilization, mitochondrial activity is a clear hallmark of human sperm functionality. PMID:21448461

  5. Kinesin-1 Prevents Capture of the Oocyte Meiotic Spindle by the Sperm Aster

    PubMed Central

    McNally, Karen L.P.; Fabritius, Amy S.; Ellefson, Marina L.; Flynn, Jonathan R.; Milan, Jennifer A.; McNally, Francis J.

    2012-01-01

    Centrioles are lost during oogenesis and inherited from the sperm at fertilization. In the zygote, the centrioles recruit pericentriolar proteins from the egg to form a mature centrosome that nucleates a sperm aster. The sperm aster then captures the female pronucleus to join the maternal and paternal genomes. Because fertilization occurs before completion of female meiosis, some mechanism must prevent capture of the meiotic spindle by the sperm aster. Here we show that in wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans zygotes, maternal pericentriolar proteins are not recruited to the sperm centrioles until after completion of meiosis. Depletion of kinesin-1 heavy chain or its binding partner resulted in premature centrosome maturation during meiosis and growth of a sperm aster that could capture the oocyte meiotic spindle. Kinesin prevents recruitment of pericentriolar proteins by coating the sperm DNA and centrioles and thus prevents triploidy by a non-motor mechanism. PMID:22465668

  6. Flow cytometry of sperm

    SciTech Connect

    Gledhill, B.L.

    1987-09-21

    This brief paper summarizes automated flow cytometric determination of sperm morphology and flow cytometry/sorting of sperm with application to sex preselection. In the latter context, mention is made of results of karyotypic determination of sex chromosome ratios in albumin-processed human sperm. 23 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  7. Calcium signaling and the MAPK cascade are required for sperm activation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhiyu; Wang, Bin; He, Ruijun; Zhao, Yanmei; Miao, Long

    2014-02-01

    In nematode, sperm activation (or spermiogenesis), a process in which the symmetric and non-motile spermatids transform into polarized and crawling spermatozoa, is critical for sperm cells to acquire fertilizing competence. SPE-8 dependent and SPE-8 independent pathways function redundantly during sperm activation in both males and hermaphrodites of Caenorhabditis elegans. However, the downstream signaling for both pathways remains unclear. Here we show that calcium signaling and the MAPK cascade are required for both SPE-8 dependent and SPE-8 independent sperm activation, implying that both pathways share common downstream signaling components during sperm activation. We demonstrate that activation of the MAPK cascade is sufficient to activate spermatids derived from either wild-type or spe-8 group mutant males and that activation of the MAPK cascade bypasses the requirement of calcium signal to induce sperm activation, indicating that the MAPK cascade functions downstream of or parallel with the calcium signaling during sperm activation. Interestingly, the persistent activation of MAPK in activated spermatozoa inhibits Major Sperm Protein (MSP)-based cytoskeleton dynamics. We demonstrate that MAPK plays dual roles in promoting pseudopod extension during sperm activation but also blocking the MSP-based, amoeboid motility of the spermatozoa. Thus, though nematode sperm are crawling cells, morphologically distinct from flagellated sperm, and the molecular machinery for motility of amoeboid and flagellated sperm is different, both types of sperm might utilize conserved signaling pathways to modulate sperm maturation.

  8. Rediscovering sperm ion channels with the patch-clamp technique

    PubMed Central

    Kirichok, Yuriy; Lishko, Polina V.

    2011-01-01

    Upon ejaculation, mammalian spermatozoa have to undergo a sequence of physiological transformations within the female reproductive tract that will allow them to reach and fertilize the egg. These include initiation of motility, hyperactivation of motility and perhaps chemotaxis toward the egg, and culminate in the acrosome reaction that permits sperm to penetrate the protective vestments of the egg. These physiological responses are triggered through the activation of sperm ion channels that cause elevations of sperm intracellular pH and Ca2+ in response to certain cues within the female reproductive tract. Despite their key role in sperm physiology and their absolute requirement for the process of fertilization, sperm ion channels remain poorly understood due to the extreme difficulty in application of the patch-clamp technique to spermatozoa. This review covers the topic of sperm ion channels in the following order: first, we discuss how the intracellular Ca2+ and pH signaling mediated by sperm ion channels controls sperm behavior during the process of fertilization. Then, we briefly cover the history of the methodology to study sperm ion channels, which culminated in the recent development of a reproducible whole-cell patch-clamp technique for mouse and human cells. We further discuss the main approaches used to patch-clamp mature mouse and human spermatozoa. Finally, we focus on the newly discovered sperm ion channels CatSper, KSper (Slo3) and HSper (Hv1), identified by the sperm patch-clamp technique. We conclude that the patch-clamp technique has markedly improved and shifted our understanding of the sperm ion channels, in addition to revealing significant species-specific differences in these channels. This method is critical for identification of the molecular mechanisms that control sperm behavior within the female reproductive tract and make fertilization possible. PMID:21642646

  9. Sperm storage in male elasmobranchs: a description and survey.

    PubMed

    Pratt, H L; Tanaka, S

    1994-03-01

    Two basic types of spermatozoan aggregates, spermatophores and spermatozeugmata, found in 14 different species of sharks, one species of skate, and one species of chimaera (holocephalan), were investigated using light and scanning electron microscopy. Spermatophores, aggregates (usually 1,000-6,000 microns in diameter and larger) of randomly clumped sperm embedded in and surrounded by an eosinophilic matrix, were found in Alopias superciliosus, Odontaspis taurus, Carcharodon carcharias, Isurus oxyrinchus, and Lamna nasus. Three types of spermatozeugmata, sperm structures without a surrounding capsule or matrix, are described. The first, clumps of 60-200 sperm unbound in a supporting matrix, are found in Squalus acanthias and Hydrolagus colliei. In the second type, single-layered spheres are formed of sperm clumps with the sperm heads bound in a common supporting matrix. These are found in Carcharhinus limbatus and Carcharhinus plumbeus. The third type of spermatozeugmata are large multilayered, compound structures formed by the accretion of several single-layered aggregates. These multilayered structures characteristically are found in Carcharhinus falciformis, C. limbatus, Carcharhinus obscurus, C. plumbeus, Carcharhinus porosus, Prionace glauca, Rhizoprionodon terraenovae, and Sphyrna lewini. Sperm aggregates of all types are stored between the septa and in the lumen of the terminal ampulla of the epididymis. In their various forms they are the final product of the mature male elasmobranch reproductive tract. In a male with mature claspers, the presence of sperm aggregates is a more reliable indicator of maturity and sexual activity than is clasper condition alone.

  10. Comparative transcriptomics of Arabidopsis sperm cells.

    PubMed

    Borges, Filipe; Gomes, Gabriela; Gardner, Rui; Moreno, Nuno; McCormick, Sheila; Feijó, José A; Becker, Jörg D

    2008-10-01

    In flowering plants, the two sperm cells are embedded within the cytoplasm of the growing pollen tube and as such are passively transported to the embryo sac, wherein double fertilization occurs upon their release. Understanding the mechanisms and conditions by which male gametes mature and take part in fertilization are crucial goals in the study of plant reproduction. Studies of gene expression in male gametes of maize (Zea mays) and Plumbago and in lily (Lilium longiflorum) generative cells already showed that the previously held view of transcriptionally inert male gametes was not true, but genome-wide studies were lacking. Analyses in the model plant Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) were hindered, because no method to isolate sperm cells was available. Here, we used fluorescence-activated cell sorting to isolate sperm cells from Arabidopsis, allowing GeneChip analysis of their transcriptome at a genome-wide level. Comparative analysis of the sperm cell transcriptome with those of representative sporophytic tissues and of pollen showed that sperm has a distinct and diverse transcriptional profile. Functional classifications of genes with enriched expression in sperm cells showed that DNA repair, ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis, and cell cycle progression are overrepresented Gene Ontology categories. Moreover, analysis of the small RNA and DNA methylation pathways suggests that distinct mechanisms might be involved in regulating the epigenetic state of the paternal genome. We identified numerous candidate genes whose involvement in sperm cell development and fertilization can now be directly tested in Arabidopsis. These results provide a roadmap to decipher the role of sperm-expressed proteins.

  11. Gamete evolution and sperm numbers: sperm competition versus sperm limitation.

    PubMed

    Parker, Geoff A; Lehtonen, Jussi

    2014-09-22

    Both gamete competition and gamete limitation can generate anisogamy from ancestral isogamy, and both sperm competition (SC) and sperm limitation (SL) can increase sperm numbers. Here, we compare the marginal benefits due to these two components at any given population level of sperm production using the risk and intensity models in sperm economics. We show quite generally for the intensity model (where N males compete for each set of eggs) that however severe the degree of SL, if there is at least one competitor for fertilization (N - 1 ≥ 1), the marginal gains through SC exceed those for SL, provided that the relationship between the probability of fertilization (F) and increasing sperm numbers (x) is a concave function. In the risk model, as fertility F increases from 0 to 1.0, the threshold SC risk (the probability q that two males compete for fertilization) for SC to be the dominant force drops from 1.0 to 0. The gamete competition and gamete limitation theories for the evolution of anisogamy rely on very similar considerations: our results imply that gamete limitation could dominate only if ancestral reproduction took place in highly isolated, small spawning groups. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  12. The regulation of spermatogenesis and sperm function in nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Ellis, Ronald E.; Stanfield, Gillian M.

    2014-01-01

    In the nematode C. elegans, both males and self-fertile hermaphrodites produce sperm. As a result, researchers have been able to use a broad range of genetic and genomic techniques to dissect all aspects of sperm development and function. Their results show that the early stages of spermatogenesis are controlled by transcriptional and translational processes, but later stages are dominated by protein kinases and phosphatases. Once spermatids are produced, they participate in many interactions with other cells — signals from the somatic gonad determine when sperm activate and begin to crawl, signals from the female reproductive tissues guide the sperm, and signals from sperm stimulate oocytes to mature and be ovulated. The sperm also show strong competitive interactions with other sperm and oocytes. Some of the molecules that mediate these processes have conserved functions in animal sperm, others are conserved proteins that have been adapted for new roles in nematode sperm, and some are novel proteins that provide insights into evolutionary change. The advent of new techniques should keep this system on the cutting edge of research in cellular and reproductive biology. PMID:24718317

  13. Sperm is epigenetically programmed to regulate gene transcription in embryos

    PubMed Central

    Teperek, Marta; Simeone, Angela; Gaggioli, Vincent; Miyamoto, Kei; Allen, George E.; Erkek, Serap; Kwon, Taejoon; Marcotte, Edward M.; Zegerman, Philip; Bradshaw, Charles R.; Peters, Antoine H.F.M.; Gurdon, John B.; Jullien, Jerome

    2016-01-01

    For a long time, it has been assumed that the only role of sperm at fertilization is to introduce the male genome into the egg. Recently, ideas have emerged that the epigenetic state of the sperm nucleus could influence transcription in the embryo. However, conflicting reports have challenged the existence of epigenetic marks on sperm genes, and there are no functional tests supporting the role of sperm epigenetic marking on embryonic gene expression. Here, we show that sperm is epigenetically programmed to regulate embryonic gene expression. By comparing the development of sperm- and spermatid-derived frog embryos, we show that the programming of sperm for successful development relates to its ability to regulate transcription of a set of developmentally important genes. During spermatid maturation into sperm, these genes lose H3K4me2/3 and retain H3K27me3 marks. Experimental removal of these epigenetic marks at fertilization de-regulates gene expression in the resulting embryos in a paternal chromatin-dependent manner. This demonstrates that epigenetic instructions delivered by the sperm at fertilization are required for correct regulation of gene expression in the future embryos. The epigenetic mechanisms of developmental programming revealed here are likely to relate to the mechanisms involved in transgenerational transmission of acquired traits. Understanding how parental experience can influence development of the progeny has broad potential for improving human health. PMID:27034506

  14. Formation of primary sperm conjugates in a haplogyne spider (Caponiidae, Araneae) with remarks on the evolution of sperm conjugation in spiders.

    PubMed

    Lipke, Elisabeth; Michalik, Peter

    2012-11-01

    Sperm conjugation, where two or more sperm are physically united, is a rare but widespread pheno-menon across the animal kingdom. One group well known for its different types of sperm conjugation are spiders. Particularly, haplogyne spiders show a high diversity of sperm traits. Besides individual cleistospermia, primary (synspermia) and secondary (coenospermia, "spermatophore") sperm conjugation occurs. However, the evolution of sperm conjugates and sperm is not understood in this group. Here, we look at how sperm are transferred in Caponiidae (Haplogynae) in pursuit of additional information about the evolution of sperm transfer forms in spiders. Additionally, we investigated the male reproductive system and spermatozoa using light- and transmission electron-microscopy and provide a 3D reconstruction of individual as of well as conjugated spermatozoa. Mature spermatozoa are characterized by an extremely elongated, helical nucleus resulting in the longest spider sperm known to date. At the end of spermiogenesis, synspermia are formed by complete fusion of four spermatids. Thus, synspermia might have evolved early within ecribellate Haplogynae. The fused sperm cells are surrounded by a prominent vesicular area. The function of the vesicular area remains still unknown but might be correlated with the capacitation process inside the female. Further phylogenetic and functional implications of the spermatozoa and sperm conjugation are discussed.

  15. Valosin-containing protein/p97 interacts with sperm-activating and sperm-attracting factor (SAAF) in the ascidian egg and modulates sperm-attracting activity.

    PubMed

    Kondoh, Eri; Konno, Aru; Inaba, Kazuo; Oishi, Tohru; Murata, Michio; Yoshida, Manabu

    2008-10-01

    Sperm chemotaxis toward an egg is observed in many animals, and the control of sperm-attracting activity is thought to play an important role in ensuring fertilization. However, the mechanism underlying the release of a sperm attractant from an egg is still obscure. In this study, we examined the systems involved in the release of sperm-activating and sperm-attracting factor (SAAF), which is the sperm attractant of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Here, we show that the egg acquires sperm-attracting activity after germinal vesicle breakdown. Further, since the cytoplasmic extracts of immature oocytes exhibit no sperm-attracting activity, the SAAF in oocytes may be activated after germinal vesicle breakdown. We found 13 SAAF-binding proteins in an egg plasma membrane extract and identified five proteins by proteomic analysis: valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97, proteasome alpha 2 subunit, MGC97756 protein, proteasome subunit Y, and beta-tubulin. In particular, the interaction between VCP/p97 and SAAF was confirmed by a pull-down assay. VCP/p97 is initially localized in the germinal vesicle, and during oocyte maturation, it shifts to the endoplasmic reticulum in the cortical regions. Thus, VCP/p97 is a potential modulator of SAAF release from the egg.

  16. Metabolic rate limits the effect of sperm competition on mammalian spermatogenesis.

    PubMed

    delBarco-Trillo, Javier; Tourmente, Maximiliano; Roldan, Eduardo R S

    2013-01-01

    Sperm competition leads to increased sperm production in many taxa. This response may result from increases in testes size, changes in testicular architecture or changes in the kinetics of spermatogenesis, but the impact of each one of these processes on sperm production has not been studied in an integrated manner. Furthermore, such response may be limited in species with low mass-specific metabolic rate (MSMR), i.e., large-bodied species, because they cannot process energy and resources efficiently enough both at the organismic and cellular levels. Here we compare 99 mammalian species and show that higher levels of sperm competition correlated with a) higher proportions of seminiferous tubules, b) shorter seminiferous epithelium cycle lengths (SECL) which reduce the time required to produce sperm, and c) higher efficiencies of Sertoli cells (involved in sperm maturation). These responses to sperm competition, in turn, result in higher daily sperm production, more sperm stored in the epididymides, and more sperm in the ejaculate. However, the two processes that require processing resources at faster rates (SECL and efficiency of Sertoli cells) only respond to sperm competition in species with high MSMR. Thus, increases in sperm production with intense sperm competition occur via a complex network of mechanisms, but some are constrained by MSMR.

  17. Mammalian sperm morphometry.

    PubMed Central

    Gage, M J

    1998-01-01

    Understanding the adaptive significance of sperm form and function has been a challenge to biologists because sperm are highly specialized cells operating at a microscopic level in a complex environment. A fruitful course of investigation has been to use the comparative approach. This comparative study attempts to address some fundamental questions of the evolution of mammalian sperm morphometry. Data on sperm morphometry for 445 mammalian species were collated from published sources. I use contemporary phylogenetic analysis to control for the inherent non-independence of species and explore relationships between the morphometric dimensions of the three essential spermatozoal components: head, mid-piece and flagellum. Energy for flagellar action is metabolized by the mitochondrial-dense mid-piece and these combine to propel the sperm head, carrying the male haplotype, to the ovum. I therefore search for evolutionary associations between sperm morphometry and body mass, karyotype and the duration of oestrus. In contrast to previous findings, there is no inverse correlation between body weight and sperm length. Sperm mid-piece and flagellum lengths are positively associated with both head length and area, and the slopes of these relationships are discussed. Flagellum length is positively associated with mid-piece length but, in contrast to previous research and after phylogenetic control, I find no relationship between flagellum length and the volume of the mitochondrial sheath. Sperm head dimensions are not related to either genome mass or chromosome number, and there are no relationships between sperm morphometry and the duration of oestrus. PMID:9474794

  18. Healthy Sperm: Improving Your Fertility

    MedlinePlus

    ... of fruits and vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants — and might help improve sperm health. Prevent sexually ... Moderate physical activity can increase levels of powerful antioxidant enzymes, which can help protect sperm. Sperm can ...

  19. Genetic sperm defects.

    PubMed

    Chenoweth, Peter J

    2005-08-01

    Genetic sperm defects are specific sperm defects, which have been shown to have a genetic mode of transmission. Such genetic linkage, either direct or indirect, has been associated with a number of sperm defects in different species, with this number increasing with improved diagnostic capabilities. A number of sperm defects, which have proven or suspected genetic modes of transmission are discussed herein, with particular emphasis on cattle. These include: 1. Acrosome defects (knobbed, ruffled and incomplete); 2. Head defects (abnormal condensation, decapitated, round head, rolled head, nuclear crest); 3. Midpiece abnormalities ("Dag" defect, "corkscrew" defect, "pseudo-droplet" defect); 4. Tail defects ("tail stump" defect, primary ciliary dyskinesia).

  20. Assessment of Chromatin Maturity in Human Spermatozoa: Useful Aniline Blue Assay for Routine Diagnosis of Male Infertility

    PubMed Central

    Chakroun, Nozha; Ben Zarrouk, Soumaya; Sellami, Hanen; Kebaili, Sahbi; Rebai, Tarek; Keskes, Leila

    2013-01-01

    During spermatogenesis, sperm chromatin undergoes structural changes and results in a high condensation. This nuclear compaction would be useful as a predictor of sperm fertilization capacity and pregnancy outcome. We purpose to evaluate firstly the relationship among chromatin maturity assessed by aniline blue staining (AB) and the semen parameters in infertile men. Secondly, we analyzed whether the sperm gradient density centrifugation is effective to select mature spermatozoa. Fifty-one ejaculates were investigated by semen analysis and stained for chromatin condensation with AB to distinguish between unstained mature sperm and stained immature sperm. AB was applied also on 12 ejaculates which proceeded by density gradient centrifugation to compare the rates of immature sperm before and after selection. Neat semen were divided into two groups: G1 (n = 31): immature sperm <20% and G2 (n = 20): immature sperm ≥20%. No significant differences were detected in sperm concentration, motility, and normal morphology between G1 and G2. However, the rates of some morphology abnormalities were higher in G2: head abnormalities (P = 0.01) and microcephalic sperm (P = 0.02). We founded significant correlation between sperm immaturity and acrosome abnormalities (r = 0.292; P = 0.03). Sperm selection has significantly reduced the rates of immature sperm. A better understanding of chromatin structure and its impact on the sperm potential is needed to explore male infertility. PMID:24198830

  1. Binding of Sperm to the Zona Pellucida Mediated by Sperm Carbohydrate-Binding Proteins is not Species-Specific in vitro between Pigs and Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, Kazuya; Kikuchi, Kazuhiro; Uchida, Yasuomi; Kanai-Kitayama, Saeko; Suzuki, Reiichiro; Sato, Reiko; Toma, Kazunori; Geshi, Masaya; Akagi, Satoshi; Nakano, Minoru; Yonezawa, Naoto

    2013-01-01

    Carbohydrates are candidates for the basis of species-selective interaction of gametes during mammalian fertilization. In this study, we sought to clarify the roles of sugar residues in the species-selective, sperm–oocyte interaction in pigs and cattle. Acrosome-intact porcine and bovine sperm exhibited their strongest binding affinities for β-Gal and α-Man residues, respectively. Porcine-sperm specificity changed from β-Gal to α-Man after the acrosome reaction, while bovine-sperm specificity did not. Binding of acrosome-intact and acrosome-reacted sperm decreased after trypsinization, indicating that the carbohydrate-binding components are proteins. While immature oocytes bound homologous sperm preferentially to heterologous sperm, oocytes matured in vitro bound similar numbers of homologous and heterologous sperm. Lectin staining revealed the aggregation of α-Man residues on the outer surface of the porcine zona during maturation. In both species, zona-free, mature oocytes bound homologous sperm preferentially to heterologous sperm. The lectin-staining patterns of the zona pellucida and zona-free oocytes coincided with the carbohydrate-binding specificities of acrosome-intact and acrosome-reacted sperm, respectively, supporting the involvement of carbohydrates in gamete recognition in pigs and cattle. These results also indicate that sperm-zona pellucida and sperm–oolemma bindings are not strictly species-specific in pigs and cattle, and further suggest that sperm penetration into the zona and/or fusion with oolemma may be species-specific between pigs and cattle. PMID:24970158

  2. Effect of sorafenib on sperm count and sperm motility in male Swiss albino mice

    PubMed Central

    Shetty, Surekha Devadasa; Bairy, Laxminarayana Kurady

    2015-01-01

    The issue of male germ line mutagenesis and the effects on developmental defects in the next generation has become increasingly high profile over recent years. Mutagenic substance affects germinal cells in the testis. Since the cells are undergoing different phases of cell division and maturation, it is an ideal system to study the effect of chemotherapeutic agents. There are lacunae in the literature on the effect of sorafenib on gonadal function. With background, a study was planned to evaluate the effects of sorafenib on sperm count and sperm motility in male Swiss albino mice. Male Swiss albino mice were used for the study. The animals were segregated into control, positive control (PC) and three treatment groups. PC received oral imatinib (100 mg/kg body weight) and treatment groups received 25, 50, and 100 mg/kg body weight of sorafenib orally for 7 consecutive days at intervals of 24 h between two administrations. The control group remained in the home cage for an equal duration of time to match their corresponding treatment groups. The animals were sacrificed at the end of 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 7th, and 10th weeks after the last exposure to drug, respectively. Sperm suspensions were prepared and introduced into a counting chamber. Total sperm count and motility were recorded. There was a significant decrease in sperm count and sperm motility by sorafenib which was comparable with the effect of PC imatinib. Sorafenib adversely affects sperm count and sperm motility which are reversible after discontinuation of treatment. PMID:26605157

  3. Mouse Sperm Membrane Potential Hyperpolarization Is Necessary and Sufficient to Prepare Sperm for the Acrosome Reaction*

    PubMed Central

    De La Vega-Beltran, Jose Luis; Sánchez-Cárdenas, Claudia; Krapf, Darío; Hernandez-González, Enrique O.; Wertheimer, Eva; Treviño, Claudia L.; Visconti, Pablo E.; Darszon, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian sperm are unable to fertilize the egg immediately after ejaculation; they acquire this capacity during migration in the female reproductive tract. This maturational process is called capacitation and in mouse sperm it involves a plasma membrane reorganization, extensive changes in the state of protein phosphorylation, increases in intracellular pH (pHi) and Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i), and the appearance of hyperactivated motility. In addition, mouse sperm capacitation is associated with the hyperpolarization of the cell membrane potential. However, the functional role of this process is not known. In this work, to dissect the role of this membrane potential change, hyperpolarization was induced in noncapacitated sperm using either the ENaC inhibitor amiloride, the CFTR agonist genistein or the K+ ionophore valinomycin. In this experimental setting, other capacitation-associated processes such as activation of a cAMP-dependent pathway and the consequent increase in protein tyrosine phosphorylation were not observed. However, hyperpolarization was sufficient to prepare sperm for the acrosome reaction induced either by depolarization with high K+ or by addition of solubilized zona pellucida (sZP). Moreover, K+ and sZP were also able to increase [Ca2+]i in non-capacitated sperm treated with these hyperpolarizing agents but not in untreated cells. On the other hand, in conditions that support capacitation-associated processes blocking hyperpolarization by adding valinomycin and increasing K+ concentrations inhibited the agonist-induced acrosome reaction as well as the increase in [Ca2+]i. Altogether, these results suggest that sperm hyperpolarization by itself is key to enabling mice sperm to undergo the acrosome reaction. PMID:23095755

  4. Reliable single sperm cryopreservation in Cell Sleepers for azoospermia management.

    PubMed

    Coetzee, K; Ozgur, K; Berkkanoglu, M; Bulut, H; Isikli, A

    2016-03-01

    Conventional sperm freezing methods perform best when freezing sperm samples containing at least hundreds of spermatozoa. In this severe male factor infertility case series, we examined the reproductive outcomes in 12 intracytoplasmic sperm injection cases where spermatozoa used were frozen in Cell Sleepers. Cell Sleepers are novel devices in which individual spermatozoa can be frozen in microdroplets. The case series included five men with obstructive azoospermia, six with nonobstructive azoospermia and one with cryptozoospermia, in whom microscopic sperm retrievals from testicular sperm extraction (TESE), micro-TESE extracts and a centrifugation procedure resulted in less than 50 spermatozoa. A total of 304 microscopically retrieved spermatozoa were frozen in 20 Cell Sleepers using a rapid manual cryopreservation method. A total of 179 mature oocytes were injected with recovered thawed spermatozoa, resulting in a fertilisation rate of 65.9% (118 of 179), with no total fertilisation failures. In 10 cases, an embryo transfer was performed, three on day 3 and seven on day 5, resulting in a per cycle pregnancy rate of 58.3% (seven of 12). Four of the pregnancies have progressed past 20 gestation weeks. The recovery and use of spermatozoa that were frozen in Cell Sleepers was uncomplicated and effective and eliminated the need to perform any microscopic sperm retrieval procedures on the day of oocyte collection. Modification of the routine sperm cryopreservation methodology to include the use of Cell Sleepers increases the range of sperm samples that can be effectively cryopreserved, to include men with severe male factor fertility.

  5. Stability, delivery and functions of human sperm RNAs at fertilization.

    PubMed

    Sendler, Edward; Johnson, Graham D; Mao, Shihong; Goodrich, Robert J; Diamond, Michael P; Hauser, Russ; Krawetz, Stephen A

    2013-04-01

    Increasing attention has focused on the significance of RNA in sperm, in light of its contribution to the birth and long-term health of a child, role in sperm function and diagnostic potential. As the composition of sperm RNA is in flux, assigning specific roles to individual RNAs presents a significant challenge. For the first time RNA-seq was used to characterize the population of coding and non-coding transcripts in human sperm. Examining RNA representation as a function of multiple methods of library preparation revealed unique features indicative of very specific and stage-dependent maturation and regulation of sperm RNA, illuminating their various transitional roles. Correlation of sperm transcript abundance with epigenetic marks suggested roles for these elements in the pre- and post-fertilization genome. Several classes of non-coding RNAs including lncRNAs, CARs, pri-miRNAs, novel elements and mRNAs have been identified which, based on factors including relative abundance, integrity in sperm, available knockout data of embryonic effect and presence or absence in the unfertilized human oocyte, are likely to be essential male factors critical to early post-fertilization development. The diverse and unique attributes of sperm transcripts that were revealed provides the first detailed analysis of the biology and anticipated clinical significance of spermatozoal RNAs.

  6. Processes involved in assisted reproduction technologies significantly increase sperm DNA fragmentation and phosphatidylserine translocation.

    PubMed

    Balasuriya, A; Serhal, P; Doshi, A; Harper, J C

    2014-03-01

    Sperm preparation techniques in assisted reproduction technologies (ART) are potential generators of exogenous stresses that cause additional DNA damage. DNA fragmentation tests, such as the sperm chromatin structure assay, involve freezing sperm samples in the absence of cryoprotectant. Thermal, oxidative stress (OS) and freezing are detrimental to sperm DNA fragmentation and phosphatidylserine (PS) translocation. The primary aim of this study was to subject mature sperm to environmental insults that normally occur during ART. We tested the hypotheses that OS, thermal stress and freeze-thawing caused sperm nuclear and membrane damage and that a positive correlation exists between PS translocation and DNA fragmentation. Sperm DNA integrity deteriorates in semen samples from men with advancing age and a sperm concentration of <15 m ml(-1) . The significant increase in sperm DNA fragmentation at 37 °C after merely 1 h is important clinically as semen liquefaction and short-term sperm storage in an ART cycle involve incubating samples at this temperature. Freezing without a cryoprotectant significantly increases the level of sperm nuclear damage, so it is important not to freeze neat semen prior to DNA fragmentation testing. This study highlights the importance of minimising the production of exogenous stresses during sperm preparation in ART. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  7. Sperm allocation and cost of mating in a tropical tephritid fruit fly.

    PubMed

    Perez-Staples, Diana; Aluja, Martín

    2006-08-01

    Males that copulate repeatedly may suffer from reduced sperm stores. However, few studies have addressed sperm depletion from both the female and male perspective. Here, we show that male Anastrepha obliqua (Diptera: Tephritidae) do not ejaculate all available sperm and are left with mature sperm in the seminal vesicles even after copulating as often as three times in half a day. Ejaculate size was not related to male mating history; time elapsed since the last mating, copulation duration, female thorax length or head width. Larval host origin did not affect the number of sperm stored by females. More sperm was found in the ventral receptacle compared to sperm stored in the three spermathecae. Males apparently do not suffer a cost of mating in terms of longevity, although we cannot rule out other fitness costs. Sperm production in this species may not be as costly as it is for other species. Results suggest that males strategically allocate similar numbers of sperm among successive mates without exhausting sperm reserves for future encounters. We discuss the role that differential sperm storage may have in mediating sperm competition and tie our results to the unique natural history of A. obliqua.

  8. Advanced sperm selection techniques for assisted reproduction.

    PubMed

    McDowell, Simon; Kroon, Ben; Ford, Emily; Hook, Ysanne; Glujovsky, Demián; Yazdani, Anusch

    2014-10-28

    Assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) bring together gametes outside of the body to enhance the probability of fertilisation and pregnancy. Advanced sperm selection techniques are increasingly being employed in ART, most commonly in cycles utilising ICSI. Advanced sperm selection techniques are thought to improve the chance that structurally intact and mature sperm with high DNA integrity are selected for fertilisation. Advanced sperm selection strategies include selection according to surface charge; sperm apoptosis; sperm birefringence; ability to bind to hyaluronic acid; and sperm morphology under ultra-high magnification. These techniques theoretically improve ART outcomes. To evaluate the impact of advanced sperm selection techniques on ART outcomes. Systematic search of electronic databases (Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group Specialised Register, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Latin American and Caribbean Health Science Information Database (LILACS)), trials registers (ClinicalTrials.gov, Current Controlled Trials, World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform), conference abstracts (Web of Knowledge) and grey literature (OpenGrey) for relevant randomised controlled trials. We handsearched the reference lists of included studies and similar reviews. The search was conducted in May 2014. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing an advanced sperm selection technique versus standard IVF or ICSI or versus another advanced sperm selection technique. We excluded studies of sperm selection using ultra-high magnification (intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection, or IMSI), as they are the subject of a separate Cochrane review. Quasi-randomised and pseudo-randomised trials were

  9. Sperm Patch-Clamp

    PubMed Central

    Lishko, Polina; Clapham, David E.; Navarro, Betsy; Kirichok, Yuriy

    2014-01-01

    Sperm intracellular pH and calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) are two central factors that control sperm activity within the female reproductive tract. As such, the ion channels of the sperm plasma membrane that alter intracellular sperm [Ca2+] and pH play important roles in sperm physiology and the process of fertilization. Indeed, sperm ion channels regulate sperm motility, control sperm chemotaxis toward the egg in some species, and may trigger the acrosome reaction. Until recently, our understanding of these important molecules was rudimentary due to the inability to patch-clamp spermatozoa and directly record the activity of these ion channels under voltage clamp. Recently, we overcame this technical barrier and developed a method for reproducible application of the patch-clamp technique to mouse and human spermatozoa. This chapter covers important aspects of application of the patch-clamp technique to spermatozoa, such as selection of the electrophysiological equipment, isolation of spermatozoa for patch-clamp experiments, formation of the gigaohm seal with spermatozoa, and transition into the whole-cell mode of recording. We also discuss potential pitfalls in application of the patch-clamp technique to flagellar ion channels. PMID:23522465

  10. The small RNA content of human sperm reveals pseudogene-derived piRNAs complementary to protein-coding genes

    PubMed Central

    Pantano, Lorena; Jodar, Meritxell; Bak, Mads; Ballescà, Josep Lluís; Tommerup, Niels; Oliva, Rafael; Vavouri, Tanya

    2015-01-01

    At the end of mammalian sperm development, sperm cells expel most of their cytoplasm and dispose of the majority of their RNA. Yet, hundreds of RNA molecules remain in mature sperm. The biological significance of the vast majority of these molecules is unclear. To better understand the processes that generate sperm small RNAs and what roles they may have, we sequenced and characterized the small RNA content of sperm samples from two human fertile individuals. We detected 182 microRNAs, some of which are highly abundant. The most abundant microRNA in sperm is miR-1246 with predicted targets among sperm-specific genes. The most abundant class of small noncoding RNAs in sperm are PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). Surprisingly, we found that human sperm cells contain piRNAs processed from pseudogenes. Clusters of piRNAs from human testes contain pseudogenes transcribed in the antisense strand and processed into small RNAs. Several human protein-coding genes contain antisense predicted targets of pseudogene-derived piRNAs in the male germline and these piRNAs are still found in mature sperm. Our study provides the most extensive data set and annotation of human sperm small RNAs to date and is a resource for further functional studies on the roles of sperm small RNAs. In addition, we propose that some of the pseudogene-derived human piRNAs may regulate expression of their parent gene in the male germline. PMID:25904136

  11. Sperm competition and the evolution of sperm design in mammals

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The influence of sperm competition upon sperm size has been a controversial issue during the last 20 years which remains unresolved for mammals. The hypothesis that, when ejaculates compete with rival males, an increase in sperm size would make sperm more competitive because it would increase sperm swimming speed, has generated contradictory results from both theoretical and empirical studies. In addition, the debate has extended to which sperm components should increase in size: the midpiece to accommodate more mitochondria and produce more energy to fuel motility, or the principal piece to generate greater propulsion forces. Results In this study we examined the influence of sperm competition upon sperm design in mammals using a much larger data set (226 species) than in previous analyses, and we corrected for phylogenetic effects by using a more complete and resolved phylogeny, and more robust phylogenetic control methods. Our results show that, as sperm competition increases, all sperm components increase in an integrated manner and sperm heads become more elongated. The increase in sperm length was found to be associated with enhanced swimming velocity, an adaptive trait under sperm competition. Conclusions We conclude that sperm competition has played an important role in the evolution of sperm design in mammals, and discuss why previous studies have failed to detect it. PMID:21232104

  12. The sperm epigenome and potential implications for the developing embryo.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, Timothy G; Carrell, Douglas T

    2012-06-01

    Recent work in the field of male fertility has yielded significant increases in our understanding of the sperm epigenome and its potential role in embryonic development. These new findings have enabled a broad classification of a normal epigenetic state in the male gamete and have provided insight into the possible etiologies of some idiopathic male infertility cases. Histone retention and modification, protamine incorporation into the chromatin, DNA methylation, and spermatozoal RNA transcripts appear to play important roles in the epigenetic state of mature sperm. These epigenetic factors may reveal a historical record of spermatogenesis, portend future functions in embryogenesis, and help to elucidate mechanism of pluripotency. In contrast to the once held dogma regarding the importance of the paternal epigenome, the unique epigenetic landscape in sperm appears to serve more than the gamete itself and is likely influential in the developing embryo. In fact, growing evidence suggests that mature sperm provide appropriate epigenetic marks that drive specific genes toward activation and contribute to the pluripotent state of the embryonic cells. Although not definitive, the current literature provides evidence for the role of the sperm epigenome in the embryo. Future work must be focused on the characterization of epigenetic abnormalities commonly found in individuals with compromised fertility to further establish this role. Additionally, studies should target the effects of environment and aging on the sperm epigenetic program and subsequent fertility loss to determine the etiology of aberrant epigenetic profiles.

  13. How nematode sperm crawl.

    PubMed

    Bottino, Dean; Mogilner, Alexander; Roberts, Tom; Stewart, Murray; Oster, George

    2002-01-15

    Sperm of the nematode, Ascaris suum, crawl using lamellipodial protrusion, adhesion and retraction, a process analogous to the amoeboid motility of other eukaryotic cells. However, rather than employing an actin cytoskeleton to generate locomotion, nematode sperm use the major sperm protein (MSP). Moreover, nematode sperm lack detectable molecular motors or the battery of actin-binding proteins that characterize actin-based motility. The Ascaris system provides a simple 'stripped down' version of a crawling cell in which to examine the basic mechanism of cell locomotion independently of other cellular functions that involve the cytoskeleton. Here we present a mechanochemical analysis of crawling in Ascaris sperm. We construct a finite element model wherein (a) localized filament polymerization and bundling generate the force for lamellipodial extension and (b) energy stored in the gel formed from the filament bundles at the leading edge is subsequently used to produce the contraction that pulls the rear of the cell forward. The model reproduces the major features of crawling sperm and provides a framework in which amoeboid cell motility can be analyzed. Although the model refers primarily to the locomotion of nematode sperm, it has important implications for the mechanics of actin-based cell motility.

  14. Sperm and spermatids contain different proteins and bind distinct egg factors.

    PubMed

    Teperek, Marta; Miyamoto, Kei; Simeone, Angela; Feret, Renata; Deery, Michael J; Gurdon, John B; Jullien, Jerome

    2014-09-19

    Spermatozoa are more efficient at supporting normal embryonic development than spermatids, their immature, immediate precursors. This suggests that the sperm acquires the ability to support embryonic development during spermiogenesis (spermatid to sperm maturation). Here, using Xenopus laevis as a model organism, we performed 2-D Fluorescence Difference Gel Electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and mass spectrometry analysis of differentially expressed proteins between sperm and spermatids in order to identify factors that could be responsible for the efficiency of the sperm to support embryonic development. Furthermore, benefiting from the availability of egg extracts in Xenopus, we also tested whether the chromatin of sperm could attract different egg factors compared to the chromatin of spermatids. Our analysis identified: (1) several proteins which were present exclusively in sperm; but not in spermatid nuclei and (2) numerous egg proteins binding to the sperm (but not to the spermatid chromatin) after incubation in egg extracts. Amongst these factors we identified many chromatin-associated proteins and transcriptional repressors. Presence of transcriptional repressors binding specifically to sperm chromatin could suggest its preparation for the early embryonic cell cycles, during which no transcription is observed and suggests that sperm chromatin has a unique protein composition, which facilitates the recruitment of egg chromatin remodelling factors. It is therefore likely that the acquisition of these sperm-specific factors during spermiogenesis makes the sperm chromatin suitable to interact with the maternal factors and, as a consequence, to support efficient embryonic development.

  15. Assessment of sperm survival and functional membrane integrity of the six-banded armadillo (Euphractus sexcinctus).

    PubMed

    Santos, E A A; Sousa, P C; Dias, C E V; Castelo, T S; Peixoto, G C X; Lima, G L; Ricarte, A R F; Simão, B R; Freitas, C I A; Silva, A R

    2011-09-01

    The objective was to evaluate sperm survival in the six-banded armadillo, using a thermoresistance test, and to compare sugar solutions with varying osmolarities to analyze the integrity of the functional sperm plasma membrane in this species. Twelve ejaculates were obtained from four mature males by electroejaculation and evaluated for sperm motility, vigor, live sperm, and morphology. Sperm survival was evaluated during a thermoresistance test at 34 °C (the body temperature of this species). The functional integrity of the plasma membrane was evaluated by means of the hypo-osmotic swelling test (HOST), using solutions of varying osmolarities (0, 50, 100, and 150 mOsm/L). During the thermoresistance test, at each evaluation, there was a reduction (P < 0.05) in mean values for sperm motility, sperm vigor, and percentage of live sperm (no movement was observed at 360 min). Sperm survival varied among individual armadillos (P < 0.05). In two individuals, sperm vigor was significantly enhanced when semen was diluted in Tris extender. The response of armadillo sperm to the HOST varied among individuals (P < 0.05). On average, maximal values (P < 0.05) of reactive sperm (59%) were detected with 50 mOsm/L solution; furthermore, this concentration had the largest significant positive correlation (r = 0.84) to live sperm percentage. In conclusion, six-banded armadillos had significant individual variation with regard to sperm survival in a thermoresistance test at 34 °C; in some individuals, sperm survived until 360 min. The use of a 50 mOsm/L fructose solution was recommended for conducting a HOST in this species. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. The Effect of Ambient Air Pollution on Sperm Quality

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Craig; Luben, Thomas J.; Sacks, Jason D.; Olshan, Andrew; Jeffay, Susan; Strader, Lillian; Perreault, Sally D.

    2010-01-01

    Background Research has suggested an association with ambient air pollution and sperm quality. Objectives We investigated the effect of exposure to ozone (O3) and particulate matter < 2.5 μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) on sperm quality. Methods We reexamined a previous cohort study of water disinfection by-products to evaluate sperm quality in 228 presumed fertile men with different air pollution profiles. Outcomes included sperm concentration, total sperm per ejaculate (count), and morphology, as well as DNA integrity and chromatin maturity. Exposures to O3 and PM2.5 were evaluated for the 90–day period before sampling. We used multivariable linear regression, which included different levels of adjustment (i.e., without and with season and temperature) to assess the relationship between exposure to air pollutants during key periods of sperm development and adverse sperm outcomes. Results Sperm concentration and count were not associated with exposure to PM2.5, but there was evidence of an association (but not statistically significant) with O3 concentration and decreased sperm concentration and count. Additionally, a significant increase in the percentage of sperm cells with cytoplasmic drop [β = 2.64; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.21–5.06] and abnormal head (β = 0.47; 95% CI, 0.03–0.92) was associated with PM2.5 concentration in the base model. However, these associations, along with all other sperm outcomes, were not significantly associated with either pollutant after controlling for season and temperature. Overall, although we found both protective and adverse effects, there was generally no consistent pattern of increased abnormal sperm quality with elevated exposure to O3 or PM2.5. Conclusions Exposures to O3 or PM2.5 at levels below the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards were not associated with statistically significant decrements in sperm outcomes in this cohort of fertile men. However, some results suggested effects on sperm

  17. Sperm number trumps sperm size in mammalian ejaculate evolution

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, John L.

    2015-01-01

    Postcopulatory sexual selection is widely accepted to underlie the extraordinary diversification of sperm morphology. However, why does it favour longer sperm in some taxa but shorter in others? Two recent hypotheses addressing this discrepancy offered contradictory explanations. Under the sperm dilution hypothesis, selection via sperm density in the female reproductive tract favours more but smaller sperm in large, but the reverse in small, species. Conversely, the metabolic constraint hypothesis maintains that ejaculates respond positively to selection in small endothermic animals with high metabolic rates, whereas low metabolic rates constrain their evolution in large species. Here, we resolve this debate by capitalizing on the substantial variation in mammalian body size and reproductive physiology. Evolutionary responses shifted from sperm length to number with increasing mammalian body size, thus supporting the sperm dilution hypothesis. Our findings demonstrate that body-size-mediated trade-offs between sperm size and number can explain the extreme diversification in sperm phenotypes. PMID:26582027

  18. Direct visualization of sperm competition and sperm storage in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Civetta, A

    Drosophila females engage in multiple matings [1] [2] [3] [4] even though they can store sperm in specialized organs for most of their life [5]. The existence of sperm competition in Drosophila has been inferred from the proportion of progeny sired by the second male in double-mating experiments [6] [7] [8]. Investigators have used this approach to quantify genetic variation underlying sperm competition [8] [9] [10], to elucidate its genetic basis [11], to identify the dependence of different male competitive ability on the genotype of the females with which they mate [12] and to discern the potential role of sperm competition in species isolation [13] [14]. This approach assumes that the sperm from two males stored in a female compete to fertilize the eggs. The mechanism by which sperm competition is accomplished is still unknown, however. Here, fluorescence microscopy, cytometry, and differently labeled sperm were used to analyze the fate of sperm inside the female's sperm storage organs, to quantify sperm competition, and to assess how closely paternity success corresponds to the appearance and location of the sperm. The results show that the first male's sperm is retained for a shortened period if the female remates, and that the second males that sire more progeny either induce females to store and use more of their sperm or strongly displace resident sperm.

  19. Tuning sperm chemotaxis.

    PubMed

    Guerrero, Adán; Wood, Christopher D; Nishigaki, Takuya; Carneiro, Jorge; Darszon, Alberto

    2010-10-01

    Sperm chemotaxis is a long-term puzzle and most of our knowledge comes from studying marine animals that are external fertilizers. Sperm are attracted by diffusible chemical factors (chemoattractants) released from the egg which redirect their swimming paths towards their source. This redirection is driven by increases in flagellar curvature that correlate with transient flagellar Ca(2+) increases. Recent experimental and modelling results provide insights into the signal flow underlying the translation of an external chemical gradient into an intracellular molecular and motor response. A fundamental element of sea-urchin sperm chemotaxis lies in the ability of these cells to suppress Ca(2+)-mediated increases in flagellar curvature while experiencing an increasing chemoattractant gradient. The article considers this new evidence and summarizes the known underlying cellular mechanisms and behavioural strategies that sperm use to locate and fertilize the oocyte.

  20. Low Sperm Count

    MedlinePlus

    ... involved assisted reproductive techniques, such as in vitro fertilization Stress related to the inability to have a ... female genital tract, or used for in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection. When treatment doesn't ...

  1. Sperm studies in anesthesiologists

    SciTech Connect

    Wyrobek, A.J.; Brodsky, J.; Gordon, l.; Moore, D.H., II; Watchmaker, G.; Cohen, E.N.

    1981-11-01

    Semen samples were collected from 46 anesthesiologists each of whom had worked a minimum of one year in hospital operating rooms ventilated with modern gas-scavenging devices. Samples collected from 26 beginning residents in anesthesiology served as controls. Concentrations of sperm and percentage of sperm having abnormal head shapes were determined for each sample. No significant differences were found between anesthesiologists and beginning residents. Limiting the analyses to men having no confounding factors (varicocele, recent illness, medications, heavy smoking, frequent sauna use) did not change the results. The sperm concentration and morphology in 13 men did not change signficantly after one year of exposure to anesthetic gases. However, the group of men who had one or more confounding factors (excluding exposure to anesthetic gases) showed significantly higher percentages of sperm abnormalities than did the group of men without such factors. These results suggest that limited exposure to anesthetic gases does not significantly affect sperm production as judged by changes in sperm concentration and morphology. These data are reassuring, but since the hospitals surveyed used modern gas-scavenging devices, men who are occupationally exposed to anesthetic gases without this protection should be studied for fuller assessment of the possible human spermatotoxic effects.

  2. High Quality RNA in Semen and Sperm: Isolation, Analysis and Potential Application in Clinical Testing

    PubMed Central

    Georgiadis, Andrew P.; Kishore, Archana; Zorrilla, Michelle; Jaffe, Thomas M.; Sanfilippo, Joseph S.; Volk, Etta; Rajkovic, Aleksandar; Yatsenko, Alexander N.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Male infertility is a complex health condition. To our knowledge there are no molecular biomarkers of male infertility. Sperm RNA is a potential biomarker for detecting sperm abnormalities and viability at infertility clinics. However, RNA use is hindered by its inconsistent quantity, quality, multiple cell types in semen and condensed sperm structure. Materials and Methods We tested the usefulness of high quality RNA isolated from mature sperm and whole semen by our protocol, which reduces RNA degradation by maintaining semen and protocol components at 37C and decreasing processing time. We isolated RNA from 83 whole semen samples, 18 samples of motile sperm prepared by the swim-up protocol and 18 of sperm prepared by the standard Percoll gradient method. Results Electrophoretic and spectral analysis of RNA revealed high quality 18S and 28S rRNAs in 71 of 83 whole semen samples (86%) and 15 of 18 mature sperm swim-up samples (83%). However, high quality RNA was isolated from only 7 of 18 Percoll gradient sperm samples (39%). Interestingly quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis of 4 somatic and 10 germ cell markers showed that whole semen and swim-up samples had similar RNA profiles. RNA sequencing revealed that most encoded proteins were involved in mature sperm function, regulation of DNA replication, transcription, translation, cell cycle and embryo development. Conclusions We believe that semen and sperm specific RNAs are highly informative biomarkers for germ cell stages and somatic cell contribution. Therefore, these RNAs could be valuable diagnostic indicators of sperm survival, fertilization and early embryogenesis, and could serve as a predictor of the in vitro fertilization prognosis. PMID:25088949

  3. Sperm ultrastructure, morphometry, and abnormal morphology in American black bears (Ursus americanus).

    PubMed

    Brito, L F C; Sertich, P L; Stull, G B; Rives, W; Knobbe, M

    2010-11-01

    The objective of this study was to describe sperm ultrastructure, morphometry, and abnormal morphology in American black bears. Electroejaculation was successful in 53.8% (7/13) of the attempts, but urine contamination was common. Epididymal sperm samples were also obtained from five bears. Sperm had a paddle-like head shape and the ultrastructure was similar to that of most other mammals. The most striking particularity of black bear sperm ultrastructure was a tightening of the nucleus in the equatorial region. Although the differences were not significant in all bears, the overall decrease in sperm nucleus dimensions during transport from the caput epididymis to the cauda suggested increasing compaction of the nucleus during maturation. For ejaculated sperm, nucleus length, width, and base width were 4.9, 3.7, and 1.8 μm, respectively, whereas sperm head length, width, and base width were 6.6, 4.8, and 2.3 μm, and midpiece, tail (including midpiece), and total sperm lengths were 9.8, 68.8, and 75.3 μm. Evaluation of sperm cytoplasmic droplets in the epididymis revealed that proximal droplets start migrating toward a distal position in the caput epididymis and that the process was mostly completed by the time sperm reached the cauda epididymis. The proportion of morphologically normal sperm in the ejaculate was 35.6%; the most prevalent sperm defects were distal cytoplasmic droplets and bent/coiled tails. The morphology of abnormal sperm and the underlying ultrastructural defects were similar to that in other large domestic animals thus suggesting similar underlying pathogenesis of specific sperm defects and similar effects on fertility.

  4. Male sperm storage compromises sperm motility in guppies.

    PubMed

    Gasparini, Clelia; Kelley, Jennifer L; Evans, Jonathan P

    2014-11-01

    Sperm senescence can have important evolutionary implications due to its deleterious effects on sperm quality and offspring performance. Consequently, it has been argued that polyandry (female multiple mating) may facilitate the selection of younger, and therefore competitively superior, sperm when ejaculates from multiple males compete for fertilization. Surprisingly, however, unequivocal evidence that sperm ageing influences traits that underlie sperm competitiveness is lacking. Here, we used a paired experimental design that compares sperm quality between 'old' and 'young' ejaculates from individual male guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We show that older sperm exhibit significant reductions in sperm velocity compared with younger sperm from the same males. We found no evidence that the brightness of the male's orange (carotenoid) spots, which are thought to signal resistance to oxidative stress (and thus age-related declines in sperm fitness), signals a male's ability to withstand the deleterious effects of sperm ageing. Instead, polyandry may be a more effective strategy for females to minimize the likelihood of being fertilized by aged sperm.

  5. Provisional bilateral symmetry in Xenopus eggs is established during maturation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, E. E.; Margelot, K. M.; Danilchik, M. V.

    1994-01-01

    Dorsal-ventral patterning in the Xenopus egg becomes established midway through the first cell cycle during a 30 degree rotation of the subcortical yolk mass relative to the egg cortex. This 'rotation of symmetrisation' is microtubule dependent, and its direction is thought to be cued by the usually eccentric sperm centrosome. The fact that parthenogenetically activated eggs also undergo a directed rotation, despite the absence of a sperm centrosome, suggests that an endogenous asymmetry in the unfertilised egg supports the directed polymerisation of microtubules in the vegetal cortex, in the way that an eccentric sperm centrosome would in fertilised eggs. Consistent with this idea, we noticed that the maturation spot is usually located an average of more than 15 degrees from the geometric centre of the pigmented animal hemisphere. In parthenogenetically activated eggs, this eccentric maturation spot can be used to predict the direction of rotation. Although in most fertilised eggs the yolk mass rotates toward the sperm entry point (SEP) meridian, occasionally this relationship is perturbed significantly; in such eggs, the maturation spot is never on the same side of the egg as the SEP. In oocytes tilted 90 degrees from upright during maturation in vitro, the maturation spot developed 15 degrees or more from the centre of the pigmented hemisphere, always displaced towards the point on the equator that was up during maturation. This experimentally demonstrated lability is consistent with an off-axis oocyte orientation during oogenesis determining its eccentric maturation spot position, and, in turn, its endogenous rotational bias.

  6. Provisional bilateral symmetry in Xenopus eggs is established during maturation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, E. E.; Margelot, K. M.; Danilchik, M. V.

    1994-01-01

    Dorsal-ventral patterning in the Xenopus egg becomes established midway through the first cell cycle during a 30 degree rotation of the subcortical yolk mass relative to the egg cortex. This 'rotation of symmetrisation' is microtubule dependent, and its direction is thought to be cued by the usually eccentric sperm centrosome. The fact that parthenogenetically activated eggs also undergo a directed rotation, despite the absence of a sperm centrosome, suggests that an endogenous asymmetry in the unfertilised egg supports the directed polymerisation of microtubules in the vegetal cortex, in the way that an eccentric sperm centrosome would in fertilised eggs. Consistent with this idea, we noticed that the maturation spot is usually located an average of more than 15 degrees from the geometric centre of the pigmented animal hemisphere. In parthenogenetically activated eggs, this eccentric maturation spot can be used to predict the direction of rotation. Although in most fertilised eggs the yolk mass rotates toward the sperm entry point (SEP) meridian, occasionally this relationship is perturbed significantly; in such eggs, the maturation spot is never on the same side of the egg as the SEP. In oocytes tilted 90 degrees from upright during maturation in vitro, the maturation spot developed 15 degrees or more from the centre of the pigmented hemisphere, always displaced towards the point on the equator that was up during maturation. This experimentally demonstrated lability is consistent with an off-axis oocyte orientation during oogenesis determining its eccentric maturation spot position, and, in turn, its endogenous rotational bias.

  7. Sperm Motility in Flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guasto, Jeffrey; Juarez, Gabriel; Stocker, Roman

    2012-11-01

    A wide variety of plants and animals reproduce sexually by releasing motile sperm that seek out a conspecific egg, for example in the reproductive tract for mammals or in the water column for externally fertilizing organisms. Sperm are aided in their quest by chemical cues, but must also contend with hydrodynamic forces, resulting from laminar flows in reproductive tracts or turbulence in aquatic habitats. To understand how velocity gradients affect motility, we subjected swimming sperm to a range of highly-controlled straining flows using a cross-flow microfluidic device. The motion of the cell body and flagellum were captured through high-speed video microscopy. The effects of flow on swimming are twofold. For moderate velocity gradients, flow simply advects and reorients cells, quenching their ability to cross streamlines. For high velocity gradients, fluid stresses hinder the internal bending of the flagellum, directly inhibiting motility. The transition between the two regimes is governed by the Sperm number, which compares the external viscous stresses with the internal elastic stresses. Ultimately, unraveling the role of flow in sperm motility will lead to a better understanding of population dynamics among aquatic organisms and infertility problems in humans.

  8. Sperm-egg interaction.

    PubMed

    Evans, Janice P

    2012-01-01

    A crucial step of fertilization is the sperm-egg interaction that allows the two gametes to fuse and create the zygote. In the mouse, CD9 on the egg and IZUMO1 on the sperm stand out as critical players, as Cd9(-/-) and Izumo1(-/-) mice are healthy but infertile or severely subfertile due to defective sperm-egg interaction. Moreover, work on several nonmammalian organisms has identified some of the most intriguing candidates implicated in sperm-egg interaction. Understanding of gamete membrane interactions is advancing through characterization of in vivo and in vitro fertilization phenotypes, including insights from less robust phenotypes that highlight potential supporting (albeit not absolutely essential) players. An emerging theme is that there are varied roles for gamete molecules that participate in sperm-egg interactions. Such roles include not only functioning as fusogens, or as adhesion molecules for the opposite gamete, but also functioning through interactions in cis with other proteins to regulate membrane order and functionality.

  9. Quantitative analysis of radiation-induced changes in sperm morphology

    SciTech Connect

    Young, I.T.; Gledhill, B.L.; Lake, S.; Wyrobek, A.J.

    1982-09-01

    When developing spermatogenic cells are exposed to radiation, chemical carcinogens or mutagens, the transformation in the morphology of the mature sperm can be used to determine the severity of the exposure. In this study five groups of mice with three mice per group received testicular doses of X irradiation at dosage levels ranging from 0 rad to 120 rad. A random sample of 100 mature sperm per mouse was analyzed five weeks later for the quantitative morphologic transformation as a function of dosage level. The cells were stained with gallocyanin chrome alum (GCA) so that only the DNA in the sperm head was visible. The ACUity quantitative microscopy system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was used to scan the sperm at a sampling density of 16 points per linear micrometer and with 256 brightness levels per point. The contour of each cell was extracted using conventional thresholding techniques on the high-contrast images. For each contour a variety of shape features was then computed to characterize the morphology of that cell. Using the control group and the distribution of their shape features to establish the variability of a normal sperm population, the 95% limits on normal morphology were established. Using only four shape features, a doubling dose of approximately 39 rad was determined. That is, at 39 rad exposure the percentage of abnormal cells was twice that occurring in the control population. This compared to a doubling dose of approximately 70 rad obtained from a concurrent visual procedure.

  10. An update on post-ejaculatory remodeling of the sperm surface before mammalian fertilization.

    PubMed

    Gadella, B M; Boerke, A

    2016-01-01

    The fusion of a sperm with an oocyte to form new life is a highly regulated event. The activation-also termed capacitation-of the sperm cell is one of the key preparative steps required for this process. Ejaculated sperm has to make a journey through the female uterus and oviduct before it can approach the oocyte. The oocyte at that moment also has become prepared to facilitate monospermic fertilization and block immediately thereafter the chance for polyspermic fertilization. Interestingly, ejaculated sperm is not properly capacitated and consequently is not yet able to fertilize the oocyte. During the capacitation process, the formation of competent lipid-protein domains on the sperm head enables sperm-cumulus and zona pellucida interactions. This sperm binding allows the onset for a cascade reaction ultimately resulting in oocyte-sperm fusion. Many different lipids and proteins from the sperm surface are involved in this process. Sperm surface processing already starts when sperm are liberated from the seminiferous tubules and is followed by epididymal maturation where the sperm cell surface is modified and loaded with proteins to ensure it is prepared for its fertilization task. Although cauda epididymal sperm can fertilize the oocyte IVF, they are coated with so-called decapacitation factors during ejaculation. The seminal plasma-induced stabilization of the sperm surface permits the sperm transit through the cervix and uterus but prevents sperm capacitation and thus inhibits fertilization. For IVF purposes, sperm are washed out of seminal plasma and activated to get rid of decapacitation factors. Only after capacitation, the sperm can fertilize the oocyte. In recent years, IVF has become a widely used tool to achieve successful fertilization in both the veterinary field and human medicine. Although IVF procedures are very successful, scientific knowledge is still far from complete when identifying all the molecular players and processes during the first

  11. Sorting of Sperm by Morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koh, James; Marcos, Marcos

    2016-11-01

    Many studies have proven that the percentage of morphologically normal sperm is a significant factor in determining the success of assisted reproduction. The velocity of sperm in a microchannel with shear flow subjected to an external field will be explored theoretically. The difference in response between morphologically normal and abnormal sperm will be computed from a statistical approach, to study the feasibility and effectiveness of sorting by an external field to remove abnormal sperm. The full name of this author is Marcos.

  12. A Systematic Analysis of a Deep Mouse Epididymal Sperm Proteome

    SciTech Connect

    Chauvin, Theodore; Xie, Fang; Liu, Tao; Nicora, Carrie D.; Yang, Feng; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.; Roberts, Kenneth P.

    2012-12-21

    Spermatozoa are highly specialized cells that, when mature, are capable of navigating the female reproductive tract and fertilizing an oocyte. The sperm cell is thought to be largely quiescent in terms of transcriptional and translational activity. As a result, once it has left the male reproductive tract, the sperm cell is essentially operating with a static population of proteins. It is therefore theoretically possible to understand the protein networks contained in a sperm cell and to deduce its cellular function capabilities. To this end we have performed a proteomic analysis of mouse sperm isolated from the cauda epididymis and have confidently identified 2,850 proteins, which is the most comprehensive sperm proteome for any species reported to date. These proteins comprise many complete cellular pathways, including those for energy production via glycolysis, β-oxidation and oxidative phosphorylation, protein folding and transport, and cell signaling systems. This proteome should prove a useful tool for assembly and testing of protein networks important for sperm function.

  13. Sperm Proteomics: Road to Male Fertility and Contraception

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, Md Saidur; Lee, June-Sub

    2013-01-01

    Spermatozoa are highly specialized cells that can be easily obtained and purified. Mature spermatozoa are transcriptionally and translationally inactive and incapable of protein synthesis. In addition, spermatozoa contain relatively higher amounts of membrane proteins compared to other cells; therefore, they are very suitable for proteomic studies. Recently, the application of proteomic approaches such as the two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, and differential in-gel electrophoresis has identified several sperm-specific proteins. These findings have provided a further understanding of protein functions involved in different sperm processes as well as of the differentiation of normal state from an abnormal one. In addition, studies on the sperm proteome have demonstrated the importance of spermatozoal posttranslational modifications and their ability to induce physiological changes responsible for fertilization. Large-scale proteomic studies to identify hundreds to thousands of sperm proteins will ultimately result in the development of novel biomarkers that may help to detect fertility, the state of complete contraception, and beyond. Eventually, these protein biomarkers will allow for a better diagnosis of sperm dysfunctions and aid in drug development. This paper reviews the recent scientific publications available from the PubMed database to address sperm proteomics and its potential application to characterize male fertility and contraception. PMID:24363670

  14. Fusion of Boar Sperm with Nanoliposomes Prepared from Synthetic Phospholipids.

    PubMed

    Kasimanickam, V R; Buhr, M M

    2016-08-01

    Liposomes are artificial membrane vesicles that can be used to test and model the functions and interactions of various biological membranes, or as a carrier system to deliver biologically active substances into the cells, or to incorporate lipids into the plasma membrane of target cells to modify membrane structure-function relationships. Sperm plasma membrane undergoes lipid modification during maturation in epididymis and during capacitation in the female reproductive tract to facilitate fertilization. Natural variation in the amounts and composition of lipids in the sperm plasma membrane may also contribute to the species-specific sperm sensitivities to handling and storage conditions. Boar sperm are notoriously susceptible to membrane damage and are resistant to compositional alteration by artificial liposomes. This study used flow cytometry to demonstrate stable incorporation of nanoliposomes prepared from a complex mixture of various phospholipids (phosphatidylcholine : phosphatidylethanolamine : sphingomyelin : phosphatidylserine : phosphatidylinositol) with high fusion efficiency. Over 90% of sperm rapidly took up fluorescently labelled liposomes and retained the lipids for at least 60 min, in a significant time- and concentration-dependent manner. This unique fusion efficacy could be used to alter sperm plasma membrane composition and hence membrane-based functional responses. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  15. Characterization of proteins in the bovine epididymal and seminal fluid and proteins attached to epididymal and ejaculated sperm

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    During final maturation sperm lose their ability to biosynthesize, repair, grow, and divide. They have minimal metabolic function, and thus become completely dependent on their environment. In the epididymis, sperm are stored for a long period of time, but upon ejaculation motility is increased and...

  16. Coupling sperm mediated gene transfer and sperm sorting techniques: a new perspective for swine transgenesis.

    PubMed

    De Cecco, Marco; Spinaci, Marcella; Zannoni, Augusta; Bernardini, Chiara; Seren, Eraldo; Forni, Monica; Bacci, Maria Laura

    2010-09-15

    Flow cytometric separation of X and Y chromosome-bearing spermatozoa has been demonstrated to be effective in pigs, allowing the use of boar sexed semen in in vitro trials. Sperm Mediated Gene Transfer (SMGT) is a widely used and efficient technique for the creation of transgenic animals. The present research intended to prove that it is possible to associate sperm sexing with the SMGT technique in order to speed up the assessment of homozygous lines of transgenic pigs. In the first experiment, the sorting protocol was modified in order to obtain the highest DNA uptake by sorted spermatozoa. In the second experiment, spermatozoa that had undergone only sperm sorting, only SMGT, or both procedures (Sorted-SMGT) were used for in in vitro fertilization of in vitro matured oocytes. In the third experiment, transformed blastocysts of the desired gender (male) were obtained with Sorted-SMGT in an in vitro fertilization trial. The method we developed here allowed us to produce transgenic swine blastocysts of pre-determined gender, giving a positive answer at the aim to couple SMGT and sperm sorting in swine, obtaining fertile spermatozoa able to produce transgenic embryos of pre-determined gender.

  17. Glycocalyx characterisation and glycoprotein expression of Sus domesticus epididymal sperm surface samples.

    PubMed

    Fàbrega, Anna; Puigmulé, Marta; Dacheux, Jean-Louis; Bonet, Sergi; Pinart, Elisabeth

    2012-01-01

    The sperm surface is covered with a dense coating of carbohydrate-rich molecules. Many of these molecules are involved in the acquisition of fertilising ability. In the present study, eight lectins (i.e. Arachis hypogae (peanut) agglutinin (PNA), Lens culimaris (lentil) agglutinin-A (LCA), Pisum sativum (pea) agglutin (PSA), Triticum vulgari (wheat) germ agglutinin (WGA), Helix pomatia agglutinin (HPA), Phaseolus vulgaris (red kidney bean) leucoagglutinin (PHA-L), Glycine max (soybean) agglutinin (SBA) and Ulex europaeus agglutinin I (UEA-I)) were investigated to identify changes in the nature and localisation of glycoproteins in boar spermatozoa migrating along the epididymal duct. Complementary procedures included measurement of global lectin binding over the surface of the viable sperm population by flow cytometry, analysis of lectin localisation on the membrane of individual spermatozoa using fluorescence microscopy and the electrophoretic characterisation of the major sperm surface glycoprotein receptors involved in lectin binding. A significant increase was found in sperm galactose, glucose/mannose and N-acetyl-d-glucosamine residues distally in the epididymis. Moreover, the sperm head, cytoplasmic droplet and midpiece were recognised by most of the lectins tested, whereas only HPA and WGA bound to the principal piece and end piece of the sperm tail. Fourteen sperm surface proteins were observed with different patterns of lectin expression between epididymal regions. The sperm glycocalyx modifications observed in the present study provide an insight into the molecular modifications associated with epididymal maturation, which may be correlated with the degree of maturation of ejaculated spermatozoa.

  18. Sperm nuclei glutathione peroxidases and their occurrence in animal species with cysteine-containing protamines.

    PubMed

    Bertelsmann, Holger; Kuehbacher, Markus; Weseloh, Gundolf; Kyriakopoulos, Antonios; Behne, Dietrich

    2007-10-01

    The selenoenzyme sperm nuclei glutathione peroxidase (snGPx), also called the nuclear form of phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (n-PHGPx), was found to be involved in the stabilization of condensed sperm chromatin, most likely by thiol to disulfide oxidation of the cysteine residues of the mammalian protamines, small nuclear basic proteins in the nuclei of sperm cells. By applying Acidic Urea-PAGE in combination with SDS-PAGE, snGPx with an apparent molecular mass of 34 kDa and a 24-kDa protein were purified from rat sperm nuclei. The 24-kDa protein was identified by means of mass spectrometry as a truncated form of snGPx produced by cleavage at the N-terminal end. After defined processing of spermatozoa and detergent treatment of the sperm nuclei fraction, snGPx and its truncated form were shown to be the only selenoproteins present in mature mammalian sperm nuclei. Both forms were found in mature rat and horse sperm nuclei but in man only snGPx was detected. In trout and chicken, species with sperm cells which likewise undergo chromatin condensation but do not contain cysteine in their protamines, the snGPx proteins were missing. This can be taken as an indirect proof of the function of snGPx to act as protamine cysteine thiol peroxidase in the mammalian species with cysteine-containing protamines.

  19. Aneuploidy detection in human sperm nuclei using PRINS technique

    SciTech Connect

    Girardet, A.; Coignet, L.; Andreo, B.

    1996-08-23

    Rapid and specific identification of chromosomes can be attained in situ using the PRimed IN Situ (PRINS) labelling technique. We have adapted this technique to mature human sperm in combination with a protocol for simultaneous decondensation and denaturation of sperm nuclei. This strategy allowed us to obtain double labelling of human spermatozoa in a <2-hr reaction. In the present study, we report the estimates of disomy for chromosomes 3, 7, 10, 11, and 17 on 64,642 spermatozoa from 2 normal males. The incidences of disomy ranged from 0.28-0.34%. There were no significant interindividual or interchromosomal differences in disomy rates. 27 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  20. Individual adjustment of sperm expenditure accords with sperm competition theory.

    PubMed

    Pilastro, Andrea; Scaggiante, Marta; Rasotto, Maria B

    2002-07-23

    Sperm competition theory predicts that males should strategically allocate their sperm reserves according to the level of sperm competition, defined as the probability that the sperm of two males compete for fertilizing a given set of ova. Substantial evidence from numerous animal taxa suggests that, at the individual level, sperm expenditure increases when the risk of sperm competition is greater. In contrast, according to the "intensity model" of sperm competition [Parker, G. A., Ball, M. A., Stockley, P. & Gage, M. J. G. (1996) Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 263, 1291-1297], when more than two ejaculates compete during a given mating event, sperm expenditure should decrease as the number of competing males increases. Empirical evidence supporting this prediction, however, is still lacking. Here we measured sperm expenditure in two gobiid fishes, the grass (Zosterisessor ophiocephalus) and black goby (Gobius niger), in which up to six sneakers can congregate around the nest of territorial males and release their sperm when females spawn. We show that, in accordance with theory, sneaker males of both species release fewer sperm as the number of competitors increases.

  1. Dietary fatty acids influence sperm quality and function.

    PubMed

    Ferramosca, A; Moscatelli, N; Di Giacomo, M; Zara, V

    2017-03-23

    Recently, obesity has been linked to male infertility. In animal models the administration of a high-fat diet caused a reduction in sperm quality, by impairing gamete energy metabolism. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible effect of dietary fatty acids supplementation in the modulation of sperm energy metabolism and, in turn, in the improvement of sperm quality in rats fed a high-fat diet. Sexually mature male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups and fed for 4 weeks a standard diet (control group), a high-fat diet (enriched in 35% of fat and 15% sucrose), a high-fat diet supplemented with 2.5% olive oil (a source of monounsaturated fatty acids) or a high-fat diet supplemented with 2.5% krill oil (a source of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids). Liver and adipose tissue weight, plasma glucose, insulin and lipid concentrations were determined. Activities of enzymes involved in sperm energetic metabolism were evaluated by spectrophotometric assays. Sperm mitochondrial respiratory efficiency was also assayed. The obtained results suggest that olive oil partially counteracts the negative effects of a high-fat diet on sperm quality, by increasing gamete motility, by reducing oxidative stress and slightly improving mitochondrial respiration efficiency. On the other hand, krill oil determines an increase in sperm concentration and motility, an increase in the activities of lactate dehydrogenase, Krebs cycle enzymes and respiratory chain complexes; a parallel increase in the cellular levels of ATP and a reduction in oxidative damage were also observed. These results suggest that dietary fatty acids are able to positively influence sperm quality and function.

  2. Embryo development of porcine oocytes after injection with miniature pig sperm and their extracts.

    PubMed

    Matsuura, Daizou; Maeda, Teruo

    2009-12-01

    This study examined embryo development of porcine oocytes after microinjection of sperm extracts (SE) in porcine intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). SE was prepared from miniature pig sperm by a nonionic surfactant, and various concentrations (0.02, 0.04 and 0.08 mg/mL) of SE were injected into the matured oocytes with a first polar body. In the pronuclear stage, the rate of oocytes with two pronuclei and a second polar body (21.4%) in the sperm and SE (0.04 mg/mL) injection group was significantly higher (P < 0.05) compared to other groups. The rate of 2-4-cell stage in sperm and SE (0.04 mg/mL) injection group was 38.1%, and it was significantly higher than that in the sperm injection group (22.9%). The rate of blastocyst stage in sperm and SE (0.04 mg/mL) injection group was 21.4%, the value was significantly higher than those in SE (0.08 mg/mL) injection group (0%), sperm injection group (5.7%), and sperm and SE (0.08 mg/mL) injection group (2.6%). These results suggest that SE induces activation of porcine oocytes and their further embryonic development, and that SE is effective for porcine ICSI.

  3. Motility, ATP levels and metabolic enzyme activity of sperm from bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus).

    PubMed

    Burness, Gary; Moyes, Christopher D; Montgomerie, Robert

    2005-01-01

    Male bluegill displays one of two life history tactics. Some males (termed "parentals") delay reproduction until ca. 7 years of age, at which time they build nests and actively courts females. Others mature precociously (sneakers) and obtain fertilizations by cuckolding parental males. In the current study, we studied the relations among sperm motility, ATP levels, and metabolic enzyme activity in parental and sneaker bluegill. In both reproductive tactics, sperm swimming speed and ATP levels declined in parallel over the first 60 s of motility. Although sneaker sperm initially had higher ATP levels than parental sperm, by approximately 30 s postactivation, no differences existed between tactics. No differences were noted between tactics in swimming speed, percent motility, or the activities of key metabolic enzymes, although sperm from parentals had a higher ratio of creatine phosphokinase (CPK) to citrate synthase (CS). In both tactics, with increasing CPK and CS activity, sperm ATP levels increased at 20 s postactivation, suggesting that capacities for phosphocreatine hydrolysis and aerobic metabolism may influence interindividual variation in rates of ATP depletion. Nonetheless, there was no relation between sperm ATP levels and either swimming speed or percent of sperm that were motile. This suggests that interindividual variation in ATP levels may not be the primary determinant of variation in sperm swimming performance in bluegill.

  4. Advancing age increases sperm chromatin damage and impairs fertility in peroxiredoxin 6 null mice

    PubMed Central

    Ozkosem, Burak; Feinstein, Sheldon I.; Fisher, Aron B.; O’Flaherty, Cristian

    2015-01-01

    Due to socioeconomic factors, more couples are choosing to delay conception than ever. Increasing average maternal and paternal age in developed countries over the past 40 years has raised the question of how aging affects reproductive success of males and females. Since oxidative stress in the male reproductive tract increases with age, we investigated the impact of advanced paternal age on the integrity of sperm nucleus and reproductive success of males by using a Prdx6−/− mouse model. We compared sperm motility, cytoplasmic droplet retention sperm chromatin quality and reproductive outcomes of young (2-month-old), adult (8-month-old), and old (20-month-old) Prdx6−/− males with their age-matched wild type (WT) controls. Absence of PRDX6 caused age-dependent impairment of sperm motility and sperm maturation and increased sperm DNA fragmentation and oxidation as well as decreased sperm DNA compaction and protamination. Litter size, total number of litters and total number of pups per male were significantly lower in Prdx6−/− males compared to WT controls. These abnormal reproductive outcomes were severely affected by age in Prdx6−/− males. In conclusion, the advanced paternal age affects sperm chromatin integrity and fertility more severely in the absence of PRDX6, suggesting a protective role of PRDX6 in age-associated decline in the sperm quality and fertility in mice. PMID:25796034

  5. Recovery and cryopreservation of epididymal sperm from agouti (Dasiprocta aguti) using powdered coconut water (ACP-109c) and Tris extenders.

    PubMed

    Silva, M A; Peixoto, G C X; Santos, E A A; Castelo, T S; Oliveira, M F; Silva, A R

    2011-10-01

    The objective was to compare the use of powdered coconut water (ACP-109c; ACP Biotecnologia, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil) and Tris extenders for recovery and cryopreservation of epididymal sperm from agouti. The caudae epididymus and proximal ductus deferens from 10 sexually mature agoutis were subjected to retrograde washing using ACP-109c (ACP Biotecnologia) or Tris. Epididymal sperm were evaluated for motility, vigor, sperm viability, membrane integrity, and morphology. Samples were centrifuged, and extended in the same diluents plus egg yolk (20%) and glycerol (6%), frozen in liquid nitrogen, and subsequently thawed at 37°C for 1 min, followed by re-evaluation of sperm characteristics. The two extenders were similarly efficient for epididymal recovery, with regard to the number and quality of sperm recovered. However, for both extenders, sperm quality decreased (P < 0.05) after centrifugation and dilution. After sperm cryopreservation and thawing, there were (mean ± SEM) 26.5 ± 2.6% motile sperm with 2.6 ± 0.2 vigor in the ACP-109c (ACP Biotecnologia) group, which was significantly better than 9.7 ± 2.6% motile sperm with 1.2 ± 0.3 vigor in Tris. In conclusion, agouti epididymal sperm were successfully recovered using either ACP-109c (ACP Biotecnologia) or Tris extenders; however, ACP-109c (ACP Biotecnologia) was a significantly better extender for processing and cryopreserving these sperm. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Spink13, an Epididymis-specific Gene of the Kazal-type Serine Protease Inhibitor (SPINK) Family, Is Essential for the Acrosomal Integrity and Male Fertility*

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Li; Yu, Heguo; Ni, Zimei; Hu, Shuanggang; Ma, Wubin; Chu, Chen; Liu, Qiang; Zhang, Yonglian

    2013-01-01

    Sperm maturation involves numerous surface modifications by a variety of secreted proteins from epididymal epithelia. The sperm surface architecture depends on correct localization of its components and highlights the importance of the sequence of the proteolytic processing of the sperm surface in the epididymal duct. The presence of several protease inhibitors from different families is consistent with the hypothesis that correctly timed epididymal protein processing is essential for proper sperm maturation. Here we show that the rat (Rattus norvegicus) epididymis-specific gene Spink13, an androgen-responsive serine protease inhibitor, could bind to the sperm acrosome region. Furthermore, knockdown of Spink13 in vivo dramatically enhanced the acrosomal exocytosis during the process of capacitation and thus led to a significant reduction in male fertility, indicating that Spink13 was essential for sperm maturation. We conclude that blockade of SPINK13 may provide a new putative target for post-testicular male contraceptives. PMID:23430248

  7. The evolution of sperm morphometry in pheasants.

    PubMed

    Immler, S; Saint-Jalme, M; Lesobre, L; Sorci, G; Roman, Y; Birkhead, T R

    2007-05-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection is thought to be a potent evolutionary force driving the diversification of sperm shape and function across species. In birds, insemination and fertilization are separated in time and sperm storage increases the duration of sperm-female interaction and hence the opportunity for sperm competition and cryptic female choice. We performed a comparative study of 24 pheasant species (Phasianidae, Galliformes) to establish the relative importance of sperm competition and the duration of sperm storage for the evolution of sperm morphometry (i.e. size of different sperm traits). We found that sperm size traits were negatively associated with the duration of sperm storage but were independent of the risk of sperm competition estimated from relative testis mass. Our study emphasizes the importance of female reproductive biology for the evolution of sperm morphometry particularly in sperm-storing taxa.

  8. Isolation and characterization of germ line DNA from mouse sperm.

    PubMed Central

    Shiurba, R; Nandi, S

    1979-01-01

    Mouse germ line DNA was isolated from sperm by a physicochemical procedure that preferentially destroys contaminating somatic cell DNA. The use of reducing conditions and chelating agents in combination with phenol permitted extraction of molecular weight DNA from mature sperm nuclei with approximately 80% efficiency. Less than 0.1% somatic cell DNA contamination remained in sperm DNA prepared by this method. Germ line DNA was characterized by determination of its ultraviolet absorbance spectrum, buoyant density in cesium chloride, and melting profile on a hydroxyapatite column. Contamination by mitochondrial DNA was assessed by cesium chloride/ethidium bromide gradient centrifugation. The significance of the mouse germ line DNA isolation procedure is discussed with respect to the possible genetic transmission of mammary tumor virus and leukemia virus, the origin of antibody diversity, and the origin of testicular teratomas. PMID:291053

  9. Interspecific androgenetic restoration of rosy barb using cadaveric sperm.

    PubMed

    Kirankumar, S; Pandian, T J

    2004-02-01

    Interspecific androgenetic rosy barb (Puntius conchonius) was generated using its cadaveric (-20 degrees C) or fresh sperm to activate nuclear genome inactivated oocytes of gray tiger barb (Puntius tetrazona). UV irradiation was used to inactivate nuclear genome of tiger barb oocytes. Thermal shock restored diploidy of rosy barb in the oocytes of tiger barb. Survival of androgenotes was 14% or 7% when fresh or cadaveric sperm was used. The diploid or haploid nuclear genome of rosy barb, individually or jointly with that of tiger barb, regulated the time sequence of embryonic development in an alien cytoplasm of tiger barb oocytes. Androgenetic males (Y2Y2) attained sexual maturity earlier and had significantly higher gonadosomatic index and sperm concentration, albeit suffering a slight decrease in fertilizing ability. Conversely, androgenetic females (X2X2) suffered extended interspawning period, reduced fecundity, and poor hatchability of their progenies. These results are discussed with respect to their significance for conservation biology.

  10. Proteomics and the genetics of sperm chromatin condensation

    PubMed Central

    Oliva, Rafael; Castillo, Judit

    2011-01-01

    Spermatogenesis involves extremely marked cellular, genetic and chromatin changes resulting in the generation of the highly specialized sperm cell. Proteomics allows the identification of the proteins that compose the spermatogenic cells and the study of their function. The recent developments in mass spectrometry (MS) have markedly increased the throughput to identify and to study the sperm proteins. Catalogs of thousands of testis and spermatozoan proteins in human and different model species are becoming available, setting up the basis for subsequent research, diagnostic applications and possibly the future development of specific treatments. The present review intends to summarize the key genetic and chromatin changes at the different stages of spermatogenesis and in the mature sperm cell and to comment on the presently available proteomic studies. PMID:21042303

  11. Evaluation of cholesterol- treated dromedary camel sperm function by heterologous IVF and AI.

    PubMed

    Crichton, Elizabeth G; Malo, Clara; Pukazhenthi, Budhan S; Nagy, Peter; Skidmore, Julian A

    2016-11-01

    Cholesterol (cholesterol-loaded cyclodextrins: CLC) treatment of dromedary camel sperm prior to freezing enhances cryosurvival. The present study first validated the efficacy of a heterologous zona-free goat oocyte assay (n=115 oocytes) to evaluate camel sperm function in vitro (Experiment 1: n=6 bulls), then examined the effects of CLC treatment (1.5mg/mL CLC; CLC+) versus no treatment (0 CLC) of fresh (Experiment 2: n=4 bulls) and frozen-thawed (Experiment 3: n=5 bulls) camel sperm to penetrate, de-condense and form pro-nuclei in in vitro-matured goat oocytes. Finally, the ability of fresh 0 CLC and CLC+ sperm to fertilize in vivo was studied by artificially inseminating super-ovulated females (n=7-9 per treatment) and examining embryo production (Experiment 4: n=4-5 bulls/treatment). Camel spermatozoa penetrated (60%) and formed pro-nuclei (33%) in goat oocytes demonstrating the utility of this heterologous system for assessing sperm function in vitro. For fresh spermatozoa, 0 CLC-treated sperm performed better than their CLC+ counterparts for all parameters measured (P<0.05). In contrast, cryopreservation resulted in a sharp decline in sperm-oocyte interaction in 0 CLC aliquots but remained unaltered in CLC+ aliquots demonstrating a protective effect of cholesterol treatment. There was no difference between treatments in the in vitro fertilizing ability of frozen-thawed sperm or in the numbers of embryos retrieved following AI with fresh 0 CLC or CLC+ sperm. We conclude that although CLC treatment of dromedary camel sperm improves sperm motility it fails to confer an advantage to them in terms of improved in vitro sperm-oocyte interaction or in vivo fertilization under the conditions tested. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. TRY-5 Is a Sperm-Activating Protease in Caenorhabditis elegans Seminal Fluid

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Joseph R.; Stanfield, Gillian M.

    2011-01-01

    Seminal fluid proteins have been shown to play important roles in male reproductive success, but the mechanisms for this regulation remain largely unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, sperm differentiate from immature spermatids into mature, motile spermatozoa during a process termed sperm activation. For C. elegans males, sperm activation occurs during insemination of the hermaphrodite and is thought to be mediated by seminal fluid, but the molecular nature of this activity has not been previously identified. Here we show that TRY-5 is a seminal fluid protease that is required in C. elegans for male-mediated sperm activation. We observed that TRY-5::GFP is expressed in the male somatic gonad and is transferred along with sperm to hermaphrodites during mating. In the absence of TRY-5, male seminal fluid loses its potency to transactivate hermaphrodite sperm. However, TRY-5 is not required for either hermaphrodite or male fertility, suggesting that hermaphrodite sperm are normally activated by a distinct hermaphrodite-specific activator to which male sperm are also competent to respond. Within males, TRY-5::GFP localization within the seminal vesicle is antagonized by the protease inhibitor SWM-1. Together, these data suggest that TRY-5 functions as an extracellular activator of C. elegans sperm. The presence of TRY-5 within the seminal fluid couples the timing of sperm activation to that of transfer of sperm into the hermaphrodite uterus, where motility must be rapidly acquired. Our results provide insight into how C. elegans has adopted sex-specific regulation of sperm motility to accommodate its male-hermaphrodite mode of reproduction. PMID:22125495

  13. TRY-5 is a sperm-activating protease in Caenorhabditis elegans seminal fluid.

    PubMed

    Smith, Joseph R; Stanfield, Gillian M

    2011-11-01

    Seminal fluid proteins have been shown to play important roles in male reproductive success, but the mechanisms for this regulation remain largely unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, sperm differentiate from immature spermatids into mature, motile spermatozoa during a process termed sperm activation. For C. elegans males, sperm activation occurs during insemination of the hermaphrodite and is thought to be mediated by seminal fluid, but the molecular nature of this activity has not been previously identified. Here we show that TRY-5 is a seminal fluid protease that is required in C. elegans for male-mediated sperm activation. We observed that TRY-5::GFP is expressed in the male somatic gonad and is transferred along with sperm to hermaphrodites during mating. In the absence of TRY-5, male seminal fluid loses its potency to transactivate hermaphrodite sperm. However, TRY-5 is not required for either hermaphrodite or male fertility, suggesting that hermaphrodite sperm are normally activated by a distinct hermaphrodite-specific activator to which male sperm are also competent to respond. Within males, TRY-5::GFP localization within the seminal vesicle is antagonized by the protease inhibitor SWM-1. Together, these data suggest that TRY-5 functions as an extracellular activator of C. elegans sperm. The presence of TRY-5 within the seminal fluid couples the timing of sperm activation to that of transfer of sperm into the hermaphrodite uterus, where motility must be rapidly acquired. Our results provide insight into how C. elegans has adopted sex-specific regulation of sperm motility to accommodate its male-hermaphrodite mode of reproduction.

  14. GLUTs and mammalian sperm metabolism.

    PubMed

    Bucci, Diego; Rodriguez-Gil, Juan Enrique; Vallorani, Claudia; Spinaci, Marcella; Galeati, Giovanna; Tamanini, Carlo

    2011-01-01

    Mammalian cells use glucides as a substrate that can be catabolized through glycolitic pathways or oxidative phosphorylation, used as a source of reducing potential, or used for anabolic aims. An important role in supplying cells with energy is played by different membrane proteins that can actively (sodium-dependent glucose transporters) or passively (glucose transporters; GLUT) transport hexoses through the lipidic bilayer. In particular, GLUTs are a family of 13 proteins that facilitate the transport of sugars and have a peculiar distribution in different tissues as well as a particular affinity for substrates. These proteins are also present in mature sperm cells, which, in fact, need carriers for uptake energetic sources that are important for maintaining cell basic activity as well as specific functions, such as motility and fertilization ability. Likewise, several GLUTs have been studied in various mammalian species (man, bull, rat, mouse, boar, dog, stallion, and donkey) to point out both their actual presence or absence and their localization on plasma membrane. The aim of this work is to give an overall picture of the studies available on GLUTs in mammalian spermatozoa at this moment, pointing out the species peculiarity, the possible role of these proteins, and the potential future research on this item.

  15. Unconventional endocannabinoid signaling governs sperm activation via the sex hormone progesterone.

    PubMed

    Miller, Melissa R; Mannowetz, Nadja; Iavarone, Anthony T; Safavi, Rojin; Gracheva, Elena O; Smith, James F; Hill, Rose Z; Bautista, Diana M; Kirichok, Yuriy; Lishko, Polina V

    2016-04-29

    Steroids regulate cell proliferation, tissue development, and cell signaling via two pathways: a nuclear receptor mechanism and genome-independent signaling. Sperm activation, egg maturation, and steroid-induced anesthesia are executed via the latter pathway, the key components of which remain unknown. Here, we present characterization of the human sperm progesterone receptor that is conveyed by the orphan enzyme α/β hydrolase domain-containing protein 2 (ABHD2). We show that ABHD2 is highly expressed in spermatozoa, binds progesterone, and acts as a progesterone-dependent lipid hydrolase by depleting the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG) from plasma membrane. The 2AG inhibits the sperm calcium channel (CatSper), and its removal leads to calcium influx via CatSper and ensures sperm activation. This study reveals that progesterone-activated endocannabinoid depletion by ABHD2 is a general mechanism by which progesterone exerts its genome-independent action and primes sperm for fertilization.

  16. Unconventional endocannabinoid signaling governs sperm activation via the sex hormone progesterone

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Melissa R.; Mannowetz, Nadja; Iavarone, Anthony T.; Safavi, Rojin; Gracheva, Elena O.; Smith, James F.; Hill, Rose Z.; Bautista, Diana M.; Kirichok, Yuriy; Lishko, Polina V.

    2017-01-01

    Steroids regulate cell proliferation, tissue development, and cell signaling via two pathways: a nuclear receptor mechanism and genome-independent signaling. Sperm activation, egg maturation, and steroid-induced anesthesia are executed via the latter pathway, the key components of which remain unknown. Here, we present characterization of the human sperm progesterone receptor that is conveyed by the orphan enzyme α/β hydrolase domain–containing protein 2 (ABHD2). We show that ABHD2 is highly expressed in spermatozoa, binds progesterone, and acts as a progesterone-dependent lipid hydrolase by depleting the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2AG) from plasma membrane. The 2AG inhibits the sperm calcium channel (CatSper), and its removal leads to calcium influx via CatSper and ensures sperm activation. This study reveals that progesterone-activated endocannabinoid depletion by ABHD2 is a general mechanism by which progesterone exerts its genome-independent action and primes sperm for fertilization. PMID:26989199

  17. A model for the control of DNA integrity by the sperm nuclear matrix

    PubMed Central

    Gawecka, Joanna E; Ribas-Maynou, Jordi; Benet, Jordi; Ward, W Steven

    2015-01-01

    The highly condensed chromatin of mammalian spermatozoa is usually considered to be biologically inert before fertilization. However, we have demonstrated that even in this compacted state, sperm chromatin is subject to degradation at open configurations associated with the nuclear matrix through a process we have termed sperm chromatin fragmentation (SCF). This suggests that a mechanism exists to monitor the health of spermatozoa during transit through the male reproductive tract and to destroy the genome of defective sperm cells. The site of DNA damage in SCF, the matrix attachment sites, are the same that we hypothesize initiate DNA synthesis in the zygote. When sperm that have damaged DNA are injected into the oocyte, the newly created zygote responds by delaying DNA synthesis in the male pronucleus and, if the damage is severe enough, arresting the embryo's development. Here we present a model for paternal DNA regulation by the nuclear matrix that begins during sperm maturation and continues through early embryonic development. PMID:25926613

  18. Comparative evidence for the evolution of sperm swimming speed by sperm competition and female sperm storage duration in passerine birds.

    PubMed

    Kleven, Oddmund; Fossøy, Frode; Laskemoen, Terje; Robertson, Raleigh J; Rudolfsen, Geir; Lifjeld, Jan T

    2009-09-01

    Sperm swimming speed is an important determinant of male fertility and sperm competitiveness. Despite its fundamental biological importance, the underlying evolutionary processes affecting this male reproductive trait are poorly understood. Using a comparative approach in a phylogenetic framework, we tested the predictions that sperm swim faster with (1) increased risk of sperm competition, (2) shorter duration of female sperm storage, and (3) increased sperm length. We recorded sperm swimming speed in 42 North American and European free-living passerine bird species, representing 35 genera and 16 families. We found that sperm swimming speed was positively related to the frequency of extrapair paternity (a proxy for the risk of sperm competition) and negatively associated with clutch size (a proxy for the duration of female sperm storage). Sperm swimming speed was unrelated to sperm length, although sperm length also increased with the frequency of extrapair paternity. These results suggest that sperm swimming speed and sperm length are not closely associated traits and evolve independently in response to sperm competition in passerine birds. Our findings emphasize the significance of both sperm competition and female sperm storage duration as evolutionary forces driving sperm swimming speed.

  19. A Review of New Technologies that may Become Useful for in vitro Production of Boar Sperm.

    PubMed

    Gadella, B M; Ferraz, M A

    2015-07-01

    Making sperm cells outside the original testicular environment in a culture dish has been considered for a long time as impossible due to the very complicated process of spermatogenesis and sperm maturation, which altogether, encompasses a 2-month period. However, new approaches in complex three-dimensional co-cell cultures, micro-perfusion and micro-fluidics technologies, new knowledge in the functioning, culturing and differentiation of spermatogonial stem cells (SSC) and their precursor cells have revolutionized this field. Furthermore, the use of better molecular markers as well as stimulatory factors has led to successful in vitro culture of stem cells either derived from germ line stem cells, from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) or from embryonic stem cells (ESC). These stem cells when placed into small seminiferous tubule fragments are able to become SSC. The SSC beyond self-renewal can also be induced into haploid sperm-like cells under in vitro conditions. In mouse, this in vitro produced sperm can be injected into a mature oocyte and allow post-fertilization development into an early embryo in vitro. After transferring such obtained embryos into the uterus of a recipient mouse, they can further develop into healthy offspring. Recently, a similar approach has been performed with combining selected cells from testicular cell suspensions followed by a complete in vitro culture of seminiferous cords producing sperm-like cells. However, most of the techniques developed are laborious, time-consuming and have low efficiency, placing questionable that it will become useful used for setting up an efficient in vitro sperm production system for the boar. The benefits and drawbacks as well as the likeliness of in vitro pig sperm production to become applied in assisted technologies for swine reproduction are critically discussed. In this contribution, also the process of sperm production in the testis and sperm maturation is reviewed.

  20. Isolation of Arabidopsis Pollen, Sperm Cells, and Vegetative Nuclei by Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS).

    PubMed

    Santos, Mário R; Bispo, Cláudia; Becker, Jörg D

    2017-01-01

    Efficient methods to isolate highly purified Arabidopsis thaliana pollen and the subcellular components of the male gametophyte (the vegetative nucleus and two sperm cells) have enabled genome-scale studies revealing a highly dynamic reprogramming of the transcriptome and epigenome during pollen development. Here, we describe the isolation of uninucleate microspores, mature pollen, as well as sperm cells and vegetative nuclei by Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting.

  1. Evaluation of antioxidant effects of crocin on sperm quality in cyclophosphamide treated adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Bakhtiary, Zahra; Shahrooz, Rasoul; Ahmadi, Abbas; Zarei, Leila

    2014-01-01

    Cyclophosphamide (CP) is one of the anti-neoplastic drugs. Despite its numerous clinical applications, it has devastating effects on the testicles and declines the sperm quality in treated patients. This study was aimed to investigate the protective effect of crocin in improving the toxicity induced by CP in reproductive system. In this study, 24 male adult mice (6 to 8 weeks) were randomly divided into three groups, control group received normal saline (0.1 mL, IP, daily), the CP group received CP (15 mg kg-1, IP, weekly) and the CP + crocin group received CP along with crocin (200 mg kg-1, IP, daily). After 35 days of treatment, animals were sacrificed. The samples of epididymis in human tubal fluid medium incubated for 30 min in 5% CO2 for flotation of sperm. Sperm were obtained from caudal epididymis using dissecting method. Then, the parameters of sperm quality including sperm count, motility, viability, DNA damage, nuclear maturation, and sperm morphology were evaluated. In CP group, the sperm count, motility, viability, nuclear maturation and sperm morphology were significantly decreased compared to control group (p < 0.05) and in the CP + crocin group all of these parameters significantly increased compared to CP group (p < 0.05). The percentage of sperm with DNA damage in the CP group significantly increased compared to other groups (p < 0.05). The results of this study indicated that the crocin was able to suppress free radicals and enhance the quality of sperm in CP treated animals. PMID:25568721

  2. Turbulence of swarming sperm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creppy, Adama; Praud, Olivier; Druart, Xavier; Kohnke, Philippa L.; Plouraboué, Franck

    2015-09-01

    Collective motion of self-sustained swarming flows has recently provided examples of small-scale turbulence arising where viscous effects are dominant. We report the first observation of universal enstrophy cascade in concentrated swarming sperm consistent with a body of evidence built from various independent measurements. We found a well-defined k-3 power-law decay of a velocity field power spectrum and relative dispersion of small beads consistent with theoretical predictions in 2D turbulence. Concentrated living sperm displays long-range, correlated whirlpool structures of a size that provides an integral scale of turbulence. We propose a consistent explanation for this quasi-2D turbulence based on self-structured laminated flow forced by steric interactions and alignment, a state of active matter that we call "swarming liquid crystal." We develop scaling arguments consistent with this interpretation.

  3. Turbulence of swarming sperm.

    PubMed

    Creppy, Adama; Praud, Olivier; Druart, Xavier; Kohnke, Philippa L; Plouraboué, Franck

    2015-09-01

    Collective motion of self-sustained swarming flows has recently provided examples of small-scale turbulence arising where viscous effects are dominant. We report the first observation of universal enstrophy cascade in concentrated swarming sperm consistent with a body of evidence built from various independent measurements. We found a well-defined k^{-3} power-law decay of a velocity field power spectrum and relative dispersion of small beads consistent with theoretical predictions in 2D turbulence. Concentrated living sperm displays long-range, correlated whirlpool structures of a size that provides an integral scale of turbulence. We propose a consistent explanation for this quasi-2D turbulence based on self-structured laminated flow forced by steric interactions and alignment, a state of active matter that we call "swarming liquid crystal." We develop scaling arguments consistent with this interpretation.

  4. Sperm, Clinics, and Parenthood

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract In this article I examine a recent approach to regulating assisted reproduction, whereby use of some kind of medical intervention ‘triggers’ laws governing legal parenthood that are more favourable to intending parents and sperm providers. I argue that although perhaps an improvement on the previous legal framework, these laws are problematic for three important reasons. First, they are prone to violating parental rights and unjustly imposing substantial burdens on individuals. Second, they are discriminatory. Third, even if we take a pragmatic approach to the question of parenthood in these cases, these laws fail to properly consider the welfare interests of children. Finally, I conclude by showing that my argument does not entail adopting a laissez‐fair attitude to conception using third‐party sperm. PMID:27523389

  5. [GammaH2AX-mediated repair of DNA damaged sperm in the zygote].

    PubMed

    Liu, Wan-Min; Liu, Rong-Ju; Li, Zhi-Ling

    2010-04-01

    Male germ cells are particularly susceptible to DNA damage by genotoxic agents during spermiogenesis and spermatozoal maturation, and meanwhile lack an effective repair system to eliminate the lesions. Because the DNA damaged sperm still has fertilizability and developmental potentiality, damage repair may occur after fertilization, but its mechanism remains unknown. Histone H2AX phosphorylation (gammaH2AX) is reportedly involved in the repair of damaged sperm DNA after fertilization. This review aims to summarize the present knowledge on the mechanism of gammaH2AX-mediated repair of DNA damaged sperm in the zygote.

  6. Isolation and Proteomic Characterization of the Mouse Sperm Acrosomal Matrix*

    PubMed Central

    Guyonnet, Benoit; Zabet-Moghaddam, Masoud; SanFrancisco, Susan; Cornwall, Gail A.

    2012-01-01

    A critical step during fertilization is the sperm acrosome reaction in which the acrosome releases its contents allowing the spermatozoa to penetrate the egg investments. The sperm acrosomal contents are composed of both soluble material and an insoluble material called the acrosomal matrix (AM). The AM is thought to provide a stable structure from which associated proteins are differentially released during fertilization. Because of its important role during fertilization, efforts have been put toward isolating the AM for biochemical study and to date AM have been isolated from hamster, guinea pig, and bull spermatozoa. However, attempts to isolate AM from mouse spermatozoa, the species in which fertilization is well-studied, have been unsuccessful possibly because of the small size of the mouse sperm acrosome and/or its fusiform shape. Herein we describe a procedure for the isolation of the AM from caput and cauda mouse epididymal spermatozoa. We further carried out a proteomic analysis of the isolated AM from both sperm populations and identified 501 new proteins previously not detected by proteomics in mouse spermatozoa. A comparison of the AM proteome from caput and cauda spermatozoa showed that the AM undergoes maturational changes during epididymal transit similar to other sperm domains. Together, our studies suggest the AM to be a dynamic and functional structure carrying out a variety of biological processes as implied by the presence of a diverse group of proteins including proteases, chaperones, hydrolases, transporters, enzyme modulators, transferases, cytoskeletal proteins, and others. PMID:22707618

  7. Llama oviductal sperm reservoirs: involvement of bulbourethral glands.

    PubMed

    Apichela, S A; Argañaraz, M E; Giuliano, S; Zampini, R; Carretero, I; Miragaya, M; Miceli, D C

    2014-04-01

    The aim of this study was to elucidate the role of llama seminal plasma in the formation of oviductal sperm reservoirs. Female llamas with follicles in the mature phase were mated with a bulbourethral glands-removed male. Females mated with nonbulbourethral glands-removed males were used as control. Oviducts were obtained by surgery 24 h after mating. The uterotubal junction and isthmus were examined by scanning electron microscopy, and mucopolysaccharides were identified by Alcian blue staining. To know the proteins probably involved in sperm reservoir formation, SDS-PAGE of seminal plasma (8% and 18% resolving gel) was made. Spermatozoa only adhered to the oviductal mucosa surface of uterotubal junction of females mated with nonbulbourethral glands-removed males confirming that seminal plasma and, in particular, bulbourethral secretions are related with the oviductal sperm reservoir formation. Histological sections showed sperm in the lumen, immersed in substance, positive for acid mucopolysaccharides. Alcian blue staining of seminal plasma proteins SDS-PAGE showed a band of high molecular weight containing mucopolysaccharides, only present in nonbulbourethral glands-removed males. Bulbourethral glands would secrete at least eight different proteins that most likely participate in the process of sperm storage in the oviduct.

  8. Sperm function test

    PubMed Central

    Talwar, Pankaj; Hayatnagarkar, Suryakant

    2015-01-01

    With absolute normal semen analysis parameters it may not be necessary to shift to specialized tests early but in cases with borderline parameters or with history of fertilization failure in past it becomes necessary to do a battery of tests to evaluate different parameters of spermatozoa. Various sperm function tests are proposed and endorsed by different researchers in addition to the routine evaluation of fertility. These tests detect function of a certain part of spermatozoon and give insight on the events in fertilization of the oocyte. The sperms need to get nutrition from the seminal plasma in the form of fructose and citrate (this can be assessed by fructose qualitative and quantitative estimation, citrate estimation). They should be protected from the bad effects of pus cells and reactive oxygen species (ROS) (leukocyte detection test, ROS estimation). Their number should be in sufficient in terms of (count), structure normal to be able to fertilize eggs (semen morphology). Sperms should have intact and functioning membrane to survive harsh environment of vagina and uterine fluids (vitality and hypo-osmotic swelling test), should have good mitochondrial function to be able to provide energy (mitochondrial activity index test). They should also have satisfactory acrosome function to be able to burrow a hole in zona pellucida (acrosome intactness test, zona penetration test). Finally, they should have properly packed DNA in the nucleus to be able to transfer the male genes (nuclear chromatic decondensation test) to the oocyte during fertilization. PMID:26157295

  9. Cytometry of mammalian sperm

    SciTech Connect

    Gledhill, B.L.

    1983-10-11

    Male germ cells respond dramatically to a variety of insults and are important reproductive dosimeters. Semen analyses are very useful in studies on the effects of drugs, chemicals, and environmental hazards on testicular function, male fertility and heritable germinal mutations. The accessibility of male cells makes them well suited for analytical cytology. We might automate the process of determining sperm morphology but should not do so solely for increased speed. Rather, richer tangible benefits will derive from cytometric evaluation through increased sensitivity, reduced subjectivity, standardization between investigators and laboratories, enhanced archival systems, and the benefits of easily exchanged standardized data. Inroads on the standardization of assays for motility and functional integrity are being made. Flow cytometric analysis of total DNA content of individual sperm is an insensitive means to detect exposure to reproductive toxins because of the small size and low frequency of the DNA content errors. Flow cytometry can be applied to determine the proportions of X- and Y-sperm in semen samples.

  10. Seminal fluid promotes in vitro sperm-oviduct binding in the domestic cat (Felis catus).

    PubMed

    Henry, F; Eder, S; Reynaud, K; Schön, J; Wibbelt, G; Fontbonne, A; Müller, K

    2015-05-01

    From many endangered or threatened species which are expected to profit from assisted reproduction techniques, mainly epididymal sperm of dead or freshly castrated males are available. These sperm had contact to epididymal secretion products but not to seminal fluid components. Notably, products of accessory sex glands have been shown in domestic animals to condition sperm for fertilization, in particular by mediating sperm-oviduct interaction. We report for the first time that motile epididymal sperm from domestic cats are able to bind to fresh oviduct epithelial cell explants from preovulatory females (median [min, max] of 10 [8, 16] and 10 [8, 17] sperm per 0.01 mm(2) explant surface from both isthmic and ampullar regions, respectively). More sperm attach to the explants when epididymal sperm were preincubated for 30 minutes with seminal fluid separated from electroejaculates of mature tomcats (median [min, max] of 17 [13, 25] and 16 [12, 21] sperm per 0.01 mm(2) explant surface from isthmus and ampulla, respectively). The proportion of bound sperm increased from a median of 54% to 62% by seminal fluid treatment. Sperm-oviduct binding could be facilitated by the decelerated sperm motion which was observed in seminal fluid-treated samples or supported by seminal fluid proteins newly attached to the sperm surface. Seminal fluid had no effect on the proportion of sperm with active mitochondria. Extent and pattern of sperm interaction in vitro were independent of explant origin from isthmus or ampulla. Sperm were attached to both cilia and microvilli of the main epithelial cell types present in all explants. In contrast to published sperm-binding studies with porcine and bovine oviduct explants where predominantly the anterior head region of sperm was attached to ciliated cells, the tails of some cat sperm were firmly stuck to the oviduct cell surfaces, whereas the heads were wobbling. Whether this response is a preliminary step toward phagocytosis or a precondition

  11. Sperm storage in caecilian amphibians.

    PubMed

    Kuehnel, Susanne; Kupfer, Alexander

    2012-06-06

    Female sperm storage has evolved independently multiple times among vertebrates to control reproduction in response to the environment. In internally fertilising amphibians, female salamanders store sperm in cloacal spermathecae, whereas among anurans sperm storage in oviducts is known only in tailed frogs. Facilitated through extensive field sampling following historical observations we tested for sperm storing structures in the female urogenital tract of fossorial, tropical caecilian amphibians. In the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, aggregated sperm were present in a distinct region of the posterior oviduct but not in the cloaca in six out of seven vitellogenic females prior to oviposition. Spermatozoa were found most abundantly between the mucosal folds. In relation to the reproductive status decreased amounts of sperm were present in gravid females compared to pre-ovulatory females. Sperm were absent in females past oviposition. Our findings indicate short-term oviductal sperm storage in the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis. We assume that in female caecilians exhibiting high levels of parental investment sperm storage has evolved in order to optimally coordinate reproductive events and to increase fitness.

  12. Sperm storage in caecilian amphibians

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Female sperm storage has evolved independently multiple times among vertebrates to control reproduction in response to the environment. In internally fertilising amphibians, female salamanders store sperm in cloacal spermathecae, whereas among anurans sperm storage in oviducts is known only in tailed frogs. Facilitated through extensive field sampling following historical observations we tested for sperm storing structures in the female urogenital tract of fossorial, tropical caecilian amphibians. Findings In the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, aggregated sperm were present in a distinct region of the posterior oviduct but not in the cloaca in six out of seven vitellogenic females prior to oviposition. Spermatozoa were found most abundantly between the mucosal folds. In relation to the reproductive status decreased amounts of sperm were present in gravid females compared to pre-ovulatory females. Sperm were absent in females past oviposition. Conclusions Our findings indicate short-term oviductal sperm storage in the oviparous Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis. We assume that in female caecilians exhibiting high levels of parental investment sperm storage has evolved in order to optimally coordinate reproductive events and to increase fitness. PMID:22672478

  13. Pronuclear formation by ICSI using chemically activated ovine oocytes and zona pellucida bound sperm.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Pichardo, J E; Ducolomb, Y; Romo, S; Kjelland, M E; Fierro, R; Casillas, F; Betancourt, M

    2016-01-01

    In order to improve ICSI, appropiate sperm selection and oocyte activation is necessary. The objective of the present study was to determine the efficiency of fertilization using ICSI with chemically activated ovine oocytes and sperm selected by swim up (SU) or swim up + zona pellucida (SU + ZP) binding. Experiment 1, 4-20 replicates with total 821 in vitro matured oocytes were chemically activated with ethanol, calcium ionophore or ionomycin, to determine oocyte activation (precense of one PN). Treatments showed similar results (54, 47, 42 %, respectively) but statistically differents (P < 0.05) than mechanical activated oocytes in sham, ICSI and sham injection (13, 25, 32 %, respectively) (10-17 replicates; n = 429). Experiment 2: Twelve ejaculates and 28 straws of semen were used (11-19 replicates). Sperm were selected by SU in BSA-TCM 199-H medium. A total of 2,294 fresh sperm and 2,760 from frozen-thawed semen were analyzed after SU or SU + ZP binding. Fresh sperm selected by SU showed acrosome reaction (AR) of 59 %, the sperm selected by SU + ZP binding increased AR to 91 %. In comparison, the AR of frozen-thawed sperm using SU or SU + ZP binding was 77 and 86 %, respectively (P < 0.05). Experiment 3: fertilization in 200 mechanical activativated oocytes (17 replicates) was 4 %, but fertilization increased in ethanol activated oocytes after ICSI (12-28 %) (5-6 replicates). When fresh sperm only selected by SU were injected to 123 oocytes, a fertilization rate (28 %) was achieved; in sperm selected by SU + ZP was 25 % (73 oocytes). In comparison, in frozen-thawed sperm selected by SU, fertilization was 13 % (70 oocytes), whereas sperm from SU + ZP binding displayed 12 % (51 oocytes) (P > 0.05). Chemical activation induces higher ovine oocyte activation than mechanical activation. Ethanol slightly displays higher oocyte activation than calcium ionophore and ionomicine. Sperm selection with SU

  14. Heat Shock Protein 90 Has Roles in Intracellular Calcium Homeostasis, Protein Tyrosine Phosphorylation Regulation, and Progesterone-Responsive Sperm Function in Human Sperm

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Aijun; Jiang, Youfang; Xie, Haifeng; Shi, Qixian; Zhang, Songying; Ni, Ya

    2014-01-01

    Heat shock protein 90 plays critical roles in client protein maturation, signal transduction, protein folding and degradation, and morphological evolution; however, its function in human sperm is not fully understood. Therefore, our objective in this study was to elucidate the mechanism by which heat shock protein 90 exerts its effects on human sperm function. By performing indirect immunofluorescence staining, we found that heat shock protein 90 was localized primarily in the neck, midpiece, and tail regions of human sperm, and that its expression increased with increasing incubation time under capacitation conditions. Geldanamycin, a specific inhibitor of heat shock protein 90, was shown to inhibit this increase in heat shock protein 90 expression in western blotting analyses. Using a multifunctional microplate reader to examine Fluo-3 AM-loaded sperm, we observed for the first time that inhibition of heat shock protein 90 by using geldanamycin significantly decreased intracellular calcium concentrations during capacitation. Moreover, western blot analysis showed that geldanamycin enhanced tyrosine phosphorylation of several proteins, including heat shock protein 90, in a dose-dependent manner. The effects of geldanamycin on human sperm function in the absence or presence of progesterone was evaluated by performing chlortetracycline staining and by using a computer-assisted sperm analyzer. We found that geldanamycin alone did not affect sperm capacitation, hyperactivation, and motility, but did so in the presence of progesterone. Taken together, these data suggest that heat shock protein 90, which increases in expression in human sperm during capacitation, has roles in intracellular calcium homeostasis, protein tyrosine phosphorylation regulation, and progesterone-stimulated sperm function. In this study, we provide new insights into the roles of heat shock protein 90 in sperm function. PMID:25541943

  15. Sperm DNA Fragmentation Index and Hyaluronan Binding Ability in Men from Infertile Couples and Men with Testicular Germ Cell Tumor

    PubMed Central

    Filipiak, Eliza; Walczak-Jedrzejowska, Renata; Oszukowska, Elzbieta; Sobkiewicz, Slawomir; Wojt, Malgorzata; Chmiel, Jacek; Kula, Krzysztof; Slowikowska-Hilczer, Jolanta

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To investigate sperm DNA fragmentation and sperm functional maturity in men from infertile couples (IC) and men with testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT). Materials and Methods. Semen samples were collected from 312 IC men and 23 men with TGCT before unilateral orchiectomy and oncological treatment. The sperm chromatin dispersion test was performed to determine DNA fragmentation index (DFI) and the ability of sperm to bind with hyaluronan (HA) was assessed. Results. In comparison with the IC men, the men with TGCT had a higher percentage of sperm with fragmented DNA (median 28% versus 21%; p < 0.01) and a lower percentage of HA-bound sperm (24% versus 66%; p < 0.001). Normal results of both analyses were observed in 24% of IC men and 4% of men with TGCT. Negative Spearman's correlations were found between DFI and the percentage of HA-bound sperm in the whole group and in IC subjects and those with TGCT analyzed separately. Conclusions. Approximately 76% of IC men and 96% with TGCT awaiting orchiectomy demonstrated DNA fragmentation and/or sperm immaturity. We therefore recommend sperm banking after unilateral orchiectomy, but before irradiation and chemotherapy; the use of such a deposit appears to be a better strategy to obtain functionally efficient sperms. PMID:27999814

  16. Sperm DNA Fragmentation Index and Hyaluronan Binding Ability in Men from Infertile Couples and Men with Testicular Germ Cell Tumor.

    PubMed

    Marchlewska, Katarzyna; Filipiak, Eliza; Walczak-Jedrzejowska, Renata; Oszukowska, Elzbieta; Sobkiewicz, Slawomir; Wojt, Malgorzata; Chmiel, Jacek; Kula, Krzysztof; Slowikowska-Hilczer, Jolanta

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To investigate sperm DNA fragmentation and sperm functional maturity in men from infertile couples (IC) and men with testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT). Materials and Methods. Semen samples were collected from 312 IC men and 23 men with TGCT before unilateral orchiectomy and oncological treatment. The sperm chromatin dispersion test was performed to determine DNA fragmentation index (DFI) and the ability of sperm to bind with hyaluronan (HA) was assessed. Results. In comparison with the IC men, the men with TGCT had a higher percentage of sperm with fragmented DNA (median 28% versus 21%; p < 0.01) and a lower percentage of HA-bound sperm (24% versus 66%; p < 0.001). Normal results of both analyses were observed in 24% of IC men and 4% of men with TGCT. Negative Spearman's correlations were found between DFI and the percentage of HA-bound sperm in the whole group and in IC subjects and those with TGCT analyzed separately. Conclusions. Approximately 76% of IC men and 96% with TGCT awaiting orchiectomy demonstrated DNA fragmentation and/or sperm immaturity. We therefore recommend sperm banking after unilateral orchiectomy, but before irradiation and chemotherapy; the use of such a deposit appears to be a better strategy to obtain functionally efficient sperms.

  17. Sperm conjugation in mammal reproductive function: Different names for the same phenomenon?

    PubMed

    Monclus, Maria Angeles; Fornes, Miguel Walter

    2016-10-01

    In many mammalian and non-mammalian species, mature sperm interact within the female reproductive tract or inside the epididymal lumen using cohesive forces. This phenomenon, known as "sperm conjugation," is sometimes confused with sperm agglutination, which is the result of the interaction of epididymal or ejaculate spermatozoa upon release into culture medium. In addition to "agglutination," the terms "association," "rouleaux," or "rosettes" are employed interchangeably to describe the conjugation phenomenon, which inevitably causes confusion due to the non-unifying nomenclature. This variety of descriptions is likely due to a poor understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in such conspicuous cell-cell interaction as well as the different morphologies that result from such interactions among species. Here, we summarize the published data regarding mammalian sperm conjugation, considering the organisms in which sperm interaction was observed; the particular terminology employed; findings regarding the components that enable sperm to adhere; sperm behavior when deposited in the female reproductive tract; and hypotheses formulated to clarify the biological function and, when known, the mechanisms for sperm interaction. We also propose a new classification system for this phenomenon that might clearly unify the criteria used to describe this behavior. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 83: 884-896, 2016 © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) sperm morphometry and function after repeated freezing and thawing.

    PubMed

    Santiago-Moreno, J; Esteso, M C; Pradiee, J; Castaño, C; Toledano-Díaz, A; O'Brien, E; Lopez-Sebastián, A; Martínez-Nevado, E; Delclaux, M; Fernández-Morán, J; Zhihe, Z

    2016-05-01

    This work examines the effects of subsequent cycles of freezing-thawing on giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) sperm morphometry and function, and assesses whether density-gradient centrifugation (DGC) can increase the number of freezing-thawing cycles this sperm can withstand. A sperm sample was collected by electroejaculation from a mature giant panda and subjected to five freezing-thawing cycles. Although repeated freezing-thawing negatively affected (P < 0.05) sperm motility and membrane integrity, in both nonselected and DCG-selected sperm samples, >60% of the sperm cells in both treatments showed acrosome integrity even after the fifth freezing cycle. In fresh semen, the sperm head length was 4.7 μm, the head width 3.6 μm, area 14.3 μm(2) and perimeter length 14.1 μm. The present results suggest that giant panda sperm trends to be resistant to repeated freezing-thawing, even without DGC selection.

  19. Effect of Akti-2 on sperm motility, capacitation and acrosome reaction in a mouse model.

    PubMed

    Quan, Yanmei; Liu, Qiang

    2016-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of the Akt inhibitor, Akti-2, on the sperm motility and acrosome reaction in mice. Mature sperms from the adult mice, aged 8 weeks, were co-incubated with Akti-2 for ~30 min at 37°C in 5% CO2, and the sperm viability was assessed by eosin-nigrosin staining. The sperm total and progressive motility were analyzed by computer-aided sperm analysis. In addition, the acrosome reaction of sperms was detected by the acid phosphatase assay, Coomassie Brilliant Blue staining and fluorescein-isothiocyanate conjugated pisum sativum lectin staining, respectively. Compared with the control (dimethyl sulfoxide), Akti-2 had no effect on sperm viability, but it suppressed the total and progressive motility significantly. Furthermore, the capacitation-associated protein tyrosine phosphorylation and the acrosome reaction induced by calcium ionophore A23187 could be suppressed by Akti-2. These experiments confirmed that Akti-2 significantly impaired the sperm functions, including motility, capacitation and acrosome reaction, and provide the proof for its potential in male reproductive toxicity.

  20. Simple procedure for sperm cryopreservation in the larvacean tunicate Oikopleura dioica.

    PubMed

    Ouchi, Kazuaki; Nishino, Atsuo; Nishida, Hiroki

    2011-01-01

    The larvacean tunicate Oikopleura dioica is an attractive organism for studies of the development, evolution, and physiology of chordates, showing considerable promise for genetic approaches given its short life cycle of five days. To facilitate future genetic studies, the development of protocols for the maintenance of individual strains is essential. Here we report a simple and practical protocol for the cryopreservation of sperm using liquid nitrogen (-196°C) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as a protective agent. The quality of the frozen-thawed sperm was evaluated in terms of fertilizing ability and subsequent development of the fertilized eggs. We examined several parameters to optimize the efficiency of cryopreservation, such as the concentration of DMSO, the method for acclimation of sperm to DMSO before freezing, and for placing sperm in liquid nitrogen, as well as the pH of the seawater used in resuspending the thawed sperm. We confirmed that viable sperm were recovered after preservation for more than one year. In addition, mature animals, and even a subsequent generation, were obtained from eggs fertilized by the cryopreserved sperm. The present procedure seems to be simple and sufficiently practical for maintenance of future established lines of O. dioica using frozen sperm.

  1. Current knowledge on boar sperm metabolism: Comparison with other mammalian species.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Gil, Joan E; Bonet, Sergi

    2016-01-01

    A practical consequence of the specific pig reproductive cycle is that the main functional features that distinguish boar spermatozoa cannot be extrapolated to other species. This prevents an overall picture that explains mammalian sperm function from being assumed. Furthermore, the extraordinary complexity of the molecular mechanisms implied in the control and modulation of mature boar sperm functions makes it impossible to provide a complete description of these mechanisms in the limited space of this chapter. Taking this into account, this chapter centers on the description of three highly important specific aspects of boar sperm function. The first aspect is the mechanisms by which boar sperm cells uptake extracellular energy sources. The second aspect is the necessity of mammalian sperm to use other hexoses than glucose as feasible energy sources. The third aspect would be an analysis of the roles that mitochondria could play in the regulation of the overall boar sperm function. As a whole, this revision intends to be an overall picture of regulatory mechanisms involved in the maintenance of proper energy levels of boar sperm and their relationship with the control of the overall boar sperm function.

  2. Effect of Akti-2 on sperm motility, capacitation and acrosome reaction in a mouse model

    PubMed Central

    QUAN, YANMEI; LIU, QIANG

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of the Akt inhibitor, Akti-2, on the sperm motility and acrosome reaction in mice. Mature sperms from the adult mice, aged 8 weeks, were co-incubated with Akti-2 for ~30 min at 37°C in 5% CO2, and the sperm viability was assessed by eosin-nigrosin staining. The sperm total and progressive motility were analyzed by computer-aided sperm analysis. In addition, the acrosome reaction of sperms was detected by the acid phosphatase assay, Coomassie Brilliant Blue staining and fluorescein-isothiocyanate conjugated pisum sativum lectin staining, respectively. Compared with the control (dimethyl sulfoxide), Akti-2 had no effect on sperm viability, but it suppressed the total and progressive motility significantly. Furthermore, the capacitation-associated protein tyrosine phosphorylation and the acrosome reaction induced by calcium ionophore A23187 could be suppressed by Akti-2. These experiments confirmed that Akti-2 significantly impaired the sperm functions, including motility, capacitation and acrosome reaction, and provide the proof for its potential in male reproductive toxicity. PMID:27123250

  3. Effects of testicular histopathology on sperm retrieval rates and ICSI results in non-obstructive azoospermia.

    PubMed

    Aydin, T; Sofikerim, M; Yucel, B; Karadag, M; Tokat, F

    2015-01-01

    Non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) is characterised by absence of sperm in the ejaculate. Significant relationship between the pattern of the testis histopathology of NOA and successful sperm retrieval rate is well known. In this study, we assess efficacy of testicular histopathology on sperm retrieval rates and intracytoplasmic sperm injection results after microdissection testicular sperm extraction in cases of non-obstructive azoospermia. It is a retrospective analysis of 111 NOA patients who have histopathological confirmation. According to histopathological findings, the patients were divided into three groups: Sertoli-cell-only syndrome (SCOS), maturation arrest (MA) and hypospermatogenesis. Sperm retrieval rate was significantly higher in hypospermatogenesis group compared with that in SCOS and MA groups. In terms of fertilisation and clinical pregnancy rates, there was no significant difference between the groups. As a result, compared with MA and SCOS, hypospermatogenesis has higher sperm retrieval rates. Our study revealed that once successful sperm retrieval is achieved, fertilisation and clinical pregnancy rates are similar in NOA patients.

  4. Evaluation of Zona Pellucida Function for Sperm Penetration During In Vitro Fertilization in Pigs

    PubMed Central

    TANIHARA, Fuminori; NAKAI, Michiko; KANEKO, Hiroyuki; NOGUCHI, Junko; OTOI, Takeshige; KIKUCHI, Kazuhiro

    2013-01-01

    Abstract In porcine oocytes, the function of the zona pellucida (ZP) with regard to sperm penetration or prevention of polyspermy is not well understood. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the ZP on sperm penetration during in vitro fertilization (IVF). We collected in vitro-matured oocytes with a first polar body (ZP+ oocytes). Some of them were freed from the ZP (ZP− oocytes) by two treatments (pronase and mechanical pipetting), and the effects of these treatments on sperm penetration parameters (sperm penetration rate and numbers of penetrated sperm per oocyte) were evaluated. There was no evident difference in the parameters between the two groups. Secondly, we compared the sperm penetration parameters of ZP+ and ZP− oocytes using frozen-thawed epididymal spermatozoa from four boars. Sperm penetration into ZP+ oocytes was found to be accelerated relative to ZP− oocytes. Thirdly, we evaluated the sperm penetration of ZP+ and ZP− oocytes at 1−10 h after IVF (3 h gamete co-incubation). The proportions of oocytes penetrated by sperm increased significantly with time in both groups; however, the number of penetrated sperm per oocyte did not increase in ZP− oocytes. Finally, we performed IVF using ZP− oocytes divided into control (3 h) and prolonged gamete co-incubation (5 h) groups. Greater numbers of sperm penetrated in the 5 h group than in the control group. These results suggest that the ZP and oolemma are not competent factors for prevention of polyspermy in our present porcine IVF system. However, it appears that ZP removal is one of the possibilities for reducing polyspermic penetration in vitro in pigs. PMID:23666494

  5. Virus maturation.

    PubMed

    Delgui, Laura R; Rodríguez, José F

    2013-01-01

    The formation of infectious virus particles is a highly complex process involving a series of sophisticated molecular events. In most cases, the assembly of virus structural elements results in the formation of immature virus particles unable to initiate a productive infection. Accordingly, for most viruses the final stage of the assembly pathway entails a set of structural transitions and/or biochemical modifications that transform inert precursor particles into fully infectious agents. In this chapter, we review the most relevant maturation mechanisms involved in the generation of infectious virions for a wide variety of viruses.

  6. Sperm donation in Israel.

    PubMed

    Mor-Yosef, S; Schenker, J G

    1995-04-01

    Science and technology in the field of human reproduction present new legal, ethical and religious questions which do not always have immediate answers. The first step in the rapidly developed field of reproductive technology was the use of sperm donation (artificial insemination by donor, AID) and the establishment of sperm banks. The state of Israel faced these problems when the regulations for sperm donation were discussed. The fact that the main holy places for the three monotheistic religions are in Israel directly influences the make-up of the population constituents. Therefore, besides a majority of secular people, a high percentage of the population of Israel is very religious: Jews, Moslems and Christians. Thus any resolution relating to AID should take this demographic combination into account. The practice of AID is opposed by the different monotheistic religions. To avoid the conflict between secular and religious people, and between the different religions' perspectives, the legal problem of AID in Israel was solved not by laws but by regulations which were published by the Ministry of Health. The main idea behind this attitude is that the state and its authorities should not and do not deal with ethical or religious questions. Thus, the decision was left to the couples and to the donors. The regulations address technical requirements, health problems and confidential issues concerning the couple, the donor and the child. In this paper we present the different views relating to these problems as perceived by the different religions, and describe the solution that was accepted by the Israeli Ministry of Health.

  7. Sperm Morphology Assessment in Captive Neotropical Primates.

    PubMed

    Swanson, W F; Valle, R R; Carvalho, F M; Arakaki, P R; Rodas-Martínez, A Z; Muniz, Japc; García-Herreros, M

    2016-08-01

    The main objective of this study was to evaluate sperm morphology in four neotropical primate species to compare the sperm morphological traits and the sperm morphometric parameters as a basis for establishing normative sperm standards for each species. Data from 80 ejaculates collected from four primate species, Callithrix jacchus, Callimico goeldii, Alouatta caraya and Ateles geoffroyi, were analysed for detection of sperm morphological alterations using subjective World Health Organization (WHO-2010) standards and Sperm Deformity Index (SDI) criteria, objective computer-assisted sperm morphometry analysis (CASMA) and subpopulation sperm determination (SSD) methods. There were multiple differences (p < 0.01) observed among primate species in values obtained from WHO-2010, SDI, CASMA and SSD sperm analysis methods. In addition, multiple significant positive and negative correlations were observed between the sperm morphological traits (SDI, Sperm Deformity Index Head Defects, Sperm Deformity Index Midpiece Defects, Sperm Deformity Index Tail Defects, Normal Sperm, Head Defects, Midpiece Defects and Tail Defects) and the sperm morphometric parameters (SSD, Area (A), Perimeter (P), Length (L), Width (W), Ellipticity, Elongation and Rugosity) (p ≤ 0.046). In conclusion, our findings using different evaluation methods indicate that pronounced sperm morphological variation exists among these four neotropical primate species. Because of the strong relationship observed among morphological and morphometric parameters, these results suggest that application of objective analysis methods could substantially improve the reliability of comparative studies and help to establish valid normative sperm values for neotropical primates.

  8. Nuclear activity of sperm cells during Hyacinthus orientalis L. in vitro pollen tube growth

    PubMed Central

    Zienkiewicz, Krzysztof; Suwińska, Anna; Niedojadło, Katarzyna; Zienkiewicz, Agnieszka; Bednarska, Elżbieta

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the transcriptional state and distribution of RNA polymerase II, pre-mRNA splicing machinery elements, and rRNA transcripts were investigated in the sperm cells of Hyacinthus orientalis L. during in vitro pollen tube growth. During the second pollen mitosis, no nascent transcripts were observed in the area of the dividing generative cell, whereas the splicing factors were present and their pools were divided between newly formed sperm cells. Just after their origin, the sperm cells were shown to synthesize new RNA, although at a markedly lower level than the vegetative nucleus. The occurrence of RNA synthesis was accompanied by the presence of RNA polymerase II and a rich pool of splicing machinery elements. Differences in the spatial pattern of pre-mRNA splicing factors localization reflect different levels of RNA synthesis in the vegetative nucleus and sperm nuclei. In the vegetative nucleus, they were localized homogenously, whereas in the sperm nuclei a mainly speckled pattern of small nuclear RNA with a trimethylguanosine cap (TMG snRNA) and SC35 protein distribution was observed. As pollen tube growth proceeded, inhibition of RNA synthesis in the sperm nuclei was observed, which was accompanied by a gradual elimination of the splicing factors. In addition, analysis of rRNA localization indicated that the sperm nuclei are likely to synthesize some pool of rRNA at the later steps of pollen tube. It is proposed that the described changes in the nuclear activity of H. orientalis sperm cells reflect their maturation process during pollen tube growth, and that mature sperm cells do not carry into the zygote the nascent transcripts or the splicing machinery elements. PMID:21081664

  9. Sedimentation properties in density gradients correspond with levels of sperm DNA fragmentation, chromatin compaction and binding affinity to hyaluronic acid.

    PubMed

    Torabi, Forough; Binduraihem, Adel; Miller, David

    2017-03-01

    Mature spermatozoa bind hyaluronic acid in the extracellular matrix via hyaladherins. Immature spermatozoa may be unable to interact because they do not express the appropriate hyaladherins on their surface. Fresh human semen samples were fractionated using differential density gradient centrifugation (DDGC) and the ability of these fractions to bind hyaluronic acid was evaluated. The presence of sperm hyaladherins was also assessed. CD44 was located mainly on the acrosome and equatorial segment and became more restricted to the equatorial segment in capacitated spermatozoa. Hyaluronic acid-TRITC (hyaluronic acid conjugated with tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanante), a generic hyaluronic-acid-binding reagent, labelled the membrane and the neck region, particularly after capacitation. Sperm populations obtained after DDGC or after interaction with hyaluronic acid were assessed for DNA fragmentation and chromatin maturity. Strong relationships between both measures and sperm sedimentation and hyaluronic-acid-binding profiles were revealed. Capacitation enhanced hyaluronic acid binding of both DDGC-pelleted sperm and sperm washed free of seminal fluid. In conclusion, hyaladherins were detected on human sperm and a higher capacity for sperm hyaluronic-acid-binding was shown to correspond with their DDGC sedimentation profiles and with lower levels of DNA fragmentation and better chromatin maturity. Capacitation induced changes in the distribution and presence of hyaladherins may enhance hyaluronic-acid-binding.

  10. Sperm DNA fragmentation is related to sperm morphological staining patterns.

    PubMed

    Sá, Rosália; Cunha, Mariana; Rocha, Eduardo; Barros, Alberto; Sousa, Mário

    2015-10-01

    In this prospective comparative study, sperm DNA fragmentation (sDNAfrag) was compared at each step of a sequential semen preparation, with semen parameters according to their degree of severity. At each step (fractions) of the sequential procedure, sDNAfrag was determined: fresh (Raw), after gradient centrifugation, washing, and swim-up (SU) for 70 infertile men enrolled in intracytoplasmic sperm injection cycles. sDNAfrag significantly (P = 0.04; P < 0.0001) decreased throughout the steps of semen preparation, with centrifugation and washing not increasing it. A negative correlation to sperm motility was observed in Raw and SU fractions, and a higher sDNAfrag was observed in samples with lower semen quality. Our results confirm that the steps of the sequential procedure do not compromise sperm DNA integrity and progressively decreased sDNAfrag regardless of the sperm abnormality and that semen parameters with lower quality present higher sDNAfrag. Four distinct patterns were observed, of which the entire sperm head staining was the pattern most expressed in all studied fractions. Additionally, the sperm head gene-rich region staining pattern was reduced by the procedure. This suggests that pattern quantification might be a useful adjunct when performing sDNAfrag testing for male infertility. Copyright © 2015 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Detection of aneuploidy in human sperm.

    PubMed

    Kapp, R W

    1979-08-01

    Adequate methods for monitoring any type of gametic mutation directly in man are virtually nonexistent. A method is presented by which one can monitor Y chromosomal nondisjunction directly in the male gamete by quantifying the number of spermatozoa with two fluorescent bodies (YFF) in 1000 sperm counted. Dried semen slides are stained with quinacrine dihydrochloride and examined under a fluorescent microscope with dark field illumination. This method eliminates the biopsy required for other meiotic studies and further eliminates bias in gametogenic selection by evaluating ejaculated mature spermatozoa. Since chromosomal numerical errors are found in 0.4% of term births and 35% of miscarriages, it is evident that chromosomal aneuploidy constitutes the major mutagenic load in man. In view of the increases observed in the incidence of YFF sperm in patients receiving antineoplastic therapy and in the DBCP-exposed workers, it may be prudent for men who have a history of exposure to mutagens and who are contemplating reproduction to be evaluated by this method prior to attempting conception. Further, this procedure could also be applied to the clinical phase of new drug testing to evaluate the effects of that agent with respect to aneuploidy since the increases in Y chromosomal nondisjunction may well act as a barometer for increases in overall autosomal nondisjunction.

  12. Detection of aneuploidy in human sperm.

    PubMed Central

    Kapp, R W

    1979-01-01

    Adequate methods for monitoring any type of gametic mutation directly in man are virtually nonexistent. A method is presented by which one can monitor Y chromosomal nondisjunction directly in the male gamete by quantifying the number of spermatozoa with two fluorescent bodies (YFF) in 1000 sperm counted. Dried semen slides are stained with quinacrine dihydrochloride and examined under a fluorescent microscope with dark field illumination. This method eliminates the biopsy required for other meiotic studies and further eliminates bias in gametogenic selection by evaluating ejaculated mature spermatozoa. Since chromosomal numerical errors are found in 0.4% of term births and 35% of miscarriages, it is evident that chromosomal aneuploidy constitutes the major mutagenic load in man. In view of the increases observed in the incidence of YFF sperm in patients receiving antineoplastic therapy and in the DBCP-exposed workers, it may be prudent for men who have a history of exposure to mutagens and who are contemplating reproduction to be evaluated by this method prior to attempting conception. Further, this procedure could also be applied to the clinical phase of new drug testing to evaluate the effects of that agent with respect to aneuploidy since the increases in Y chromosomal nondisjunction may well act as a barometer for increases in overall autosomal nondisjunction. PMID:387399

  13. Ion channels, phosphorylation and mammalian sperm capacitation

    PubMed Central

    Visconti, Pablo E; Krapf, Dario; de la Vega-Beltrán, José Luis; Acevedo, Juan José; Darszon, Alberto

    2011-01-01

    Sexually reproducing animals require an orchestrated communication between spermatozoa and the egg to generate a new individual. Capacitation, a maturational complex phenomenon that occurs in the female reproductive tract, renders spermatozoa capable of binding and fusing with the oocyte, and it is a requirement for mammalian fertilization. Capacitation encompasses plasma membrane reorganization, ion permeability regulation, cholesterol loss and changes in the phosphorylation state of many proteins. Novel tools to study sperm ion channels, image intracellular ionic changes and proteins with better spatial and temporal resolution, are unraveling how modifications in sperm ion transport and phosphorylation states lead to capacitation. Recent evidence indicates that two parallel pathways regulate phosphorylation events leading to capacitation, one of them requiring activation of protein kinase A and the second one involving inactivation of ser/thr phosphatases. This review examines the involvement of ion transporters and phosphorylation signaling processes needed for spermatozoa to achieve capacitation. Understanding the molecular mechanisms leading to fertilization is central for societies to deal with rising male infertility rates, to develop safe male gamete-based contraceptives and to preserve biodiversity through better assisted fertilization strategies. PMID:21540868

  14. Harvesting sperm and artificial insemination of mice.

    PubMed

    Duselis, Amanda R; Vrana, Paul B

    2007-01-01

    Rodents of the genus Peromyscus (deer mice) are the most prevalent native North American mammals. Peromyscus species are used in a wide range of research including toxicology, epidemiology, ecology, behavioral, and genetic studies. Here they provide a useful model for demonstrations of artificial insemination. Methods similar to those displayed here have previously been used in several deer mouse studies, yet no detailed protocol has been published. Here we demonstrate the basic method of artificial insemination. This method entails extracting the testes from the rodent, then isolating the sperm from the epididymis and vas deferens. The mature sperm, now in a milk mixture, are placed in the female's reproductive tract at the time of ovulation. Fertilization is counted as day 0 for timing of embryo development. Embryos can then be retrieved at the desired time-point and manipulated.Artificial insemination can be used in a variety of rodent species where exact embryo timing is crucial or hard to obtain. This technique is vital for species or strains (including most Peromyscus) which may not mate immediately and/or where mating is hard to assess. In addition, artificial insemination provides exact timing for embryo development either in mapping developmental progress and/or transgenic work. Reduced numbers of animals can be used since fertilization is guaranteed. This method has been vital to furthering the Peromyscus system, and will hopefully benefit others as well.

  15. GLUTATHIONE (GSH) CONCENTRATIONS VARY WITH THE CELL CYCLE IN MATURING HAMSTER OOCYTES, ZYGOTES AND PRE-IMPLANATION EMBRYOS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract
    Glutathione (GSH) is thought to play critical roles in oocyte function including spindle maintenance and provision of reducing power needed to initiate sperm chromatin decondensation. Previous observations that GSH concentrations are higher in mature than immature o...

  16. GLUTATHIONE (GSH) CONCENTRATIONS VARY WITH THE CELL CYCLE IN MATURING HAMSTER OOCYTES, ZYGOTES AND PRE-IMPLANATION EMBRYOS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract
    Glutathione (GSH) is thought to play critical roles in oocyte function including spindle maintenance and provision of reducing power needed to initiate sperm chromatin decondensation. Previous observations that GSH concentrations are higher in mature than immature o...

  17. Paternal poly (ADP-ribose) metabolism modulates retention of inheritable sperm histones and early embryonic gene expression.

    PubMed

    Ihara, Motomasa; Meyer-Ficca, Mirella L; Leu, N Adrian; Rao, Shilpa; Li, Fan; Gregory, Brian D; Zalenskaya, Irina A; Schultz, Richard M; Meyer, Ralph G

    2014-05-01

    To achieve the extreme nuclear condensation necessary for sperm function, most histones are replaced with protamines during spermiogenesis in mammals. Mature sperm retain only a small fraction of nucleosomes, which are, in part, enriched on gene regulatory sequences, and recent findings suggest that these retained histones provide epigenetic information that regulates expression of a subset of genes involved in embryo development after fertilization. We addressed this tantalizing hypothesis by analyzing two mouse models exhibiting abnormal histone positioning in mature sperm due to impaired poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) metabolism during spermiogenesis and identified altered sperm histone retention in specific gene loci genome-wide using MNase digestion-based enrichment of mononucleosomal DNA. We then set out to determine the extent to which expression of these genes was altered in embryos generated with these sperm. For control sperm, most genes showed some degree of histone association, unexpectedly suggesting that histone retention in sperm genes is not an all-or-none phenomenon and that a small number of histones may remain associated with genes throughout the genome. The amount of retained histones, however, was altered in many loci when PAR metabolism was impaired. To ascertain whether sperm histone association and embryonic gene expression are linked, the transcriptome of individual 2-cell embryos derived from such sperm was determined using microarrays and RNA sequencing. Strikingly, a moderate but statistically significant portion of the genes that were differentially expressed in these embryos also showed different histone retention in the corresponding gene loci in sperm of their fathers. These findings provide new evidence for the existence of a linkage between sperm histone retention and gene expression in the embryo.

  18. Paternal Poly (ADP-ribose) Metabolism Modulates Retention of Inheritable Sperm Histones and Early Embryonic Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Leu, N. Adrian; Rao, Shilpa; Li, Fan; Gregory, Brian D.; Zalenskaya, Irina A.; Schultz, Richard M.; Meyer, Ralph G.

    2014-01-01

    To achieve the extreme nuclear condensation necessary for sperm function, most histones are replaced with protamines during spermiogenesis in mammals. Mature sperm retain only a small fraction of nucleosomes, which are, in part, enriched on gene regulatory sequences, and recent findings suggest that these retained histones provide epigenetic information that regulates expression of a subset of genes involved in embryo development after fertilization. We addressed this tantalizing hypothesis by analyzing two mouse models exhibiting abnormal histone positioning in mature sperm due to impaired poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) metabolism during spermiogenesis and identified altered sperm histone retention in specific gene loci genome-wide using MNase digestion-based enrichment of mononucleosomal DNA. We then set out to determine the extent to which expression of these genes was altered in embryos generated with these sperm. For control sperm, most genes showed some degree of histone association, unexpectedly suggesting that histone retention in sperm genes is not an all-or-none phenomenon and that a small number of histones may remain associated with genes throughout the genome. The amount of retained histones, however, was altered in many loci when PAR metabolism was impaired. To ascertain whether sperm histone association and embryonic gene expression are linked, the transcriptome of individual 2-cell embryos derived from such sperm was determined using microarrays and RNA sequencing. Strikingly, a moderate but statistically significant portion of the genes that were differentially expressed in these embryos also showed different histone retention in the corresponding gene loci in sperm of their fathers. These findings provide new evidence for the existence of a linkage between sperm histone retention and gene expression in the embryo. PMID:24810616

  19. Understanding fertilization through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

    PubMed Central

    Neri, Queenie V.; Lee, Bora; Rosenwaks, Zev; Machaca, Khaled; Palermo, Gianpiero D.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Since the establishment of in vitro fertilization, it became evident that almost half of the couples failed to achieve fertilization and this phenomenon was attributed to a male gamete dysfunction. The adoption of assisted fertilization techniques particularly ICSI has been able to alleviate male factor infertility by granting the consistent ability of a viable spermatozoon to activate an oocyte. Single sperm injection, by pinpointing the beginning of fertilization, has been an invaluable tool in clarifying the different aspects of early fertilization and syngamy. However, even with ICSI some couples fail to fertilize due to ooplasmic dysmaturity in relation to the achieved nuclear maturation marked by the extrusion of the first polar body. More uncommon are cases where the spermatozoa partially or completely lack the specific oocyte activating factor. In this work, we review the most relevant aspects of fertilization and its failure through assisted reproductive technologies. Attempts at diagnosing and treating clinical fertilization failure are described. PMID:24290744

  20. Understanding fertilization through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

    PubMed

    Neri, Queenie V; Lee, Bora; Rosenwaks, Zev; Machaca, Khaled; Palermo, Gianpiero D

    2014-01-01

    Since the establishment of in vitro fertilization, it became evident that almost half of the couples failed to achieve fertilization and this phenomenon was attributed to a male gamete dysfunction. The adoption of assisted fertilization techniques particularly ICSI has been able to alleviate male factor infertility by granting the consistent ability of a viable spermatozoon to activate an oocyte. Single sperm injection, by pinpointing the beginning of fertilization, has been an invaluable tool in clarifying the different aspects of early fertilization and syngamy. However, even with ICSI some couples fail to fertilize due to ooplasmic dysmaturity in relation to the achieved nuclear maturation marked by the extrusion of the first polar body. More uncommon are cases where the spermatozoa partially or completely lack the specific oocyte activating factor. In this work, we review the most relevant aspects of fertilization and its failure through assisted reproductive technologies. Attempts at diagnosing and treating clinical fertilization failure are described.

  1. Sperm transfer in monogenean (platyhelminth) parasites.

    PubMed

    Kearn, Graham; Whittington, Ian

    2015-12-01

    There are three major groups of parasitic platyhelminths (flatworms). The digeneans and cestodes are endoparasites, while the monogeneans are ectoparasites mostly on the gills or skin of fishes. Monogeneans are hermaphrodite and, with the exception of the gyrodactylids, mostly protandrous, the male reproductive system maturing before the female system. Their ectoparasitic life-style provides unique opportunities to observe the reproductive biology of living platyhelminths, opportunities restricted in digeneans and cestodes by their endoparasitic habits. Moreover, the male copulatory organs (MCOs) of monogeneans are of special interest because of their perplexing diversity, ranging from sclerotised penis tubes, many with accessory sclerites, to cirruses and genital atrium armature (hooks and spines). The relatively few accounts in the literature of mating in monogeneans are reproduced in this review, together with consideration of the following aspects of sperm transfer: structure and function of MCOs; self-insemination; spermatophores and pseudospermatophores; "hypodermic" and transtegumental insemination; tissue fusion; glands associated with MCOs and vaginae; finding a mating partner.

  2. Comparative sperm ultrastructure in Nemertea.

    PubMed

    von Döhren, J; Beckers, P; Vogeler, R; Bartolomaeus, T

    2010-07-01

    Although the monophyly of Nemertea is strongly supported by unique morphological characters and results of molecular phylogenetic studies, their ingroup relationships are largely unresolved. To contribute solving this problem we studied sperm ultrastructure of 12 nemertean species that belong to different subtaxa representing the commonly recognized major monophyletic groups. The study yielded a set of 26 characters with an unexpected variation among species of the same genus (Tubulanus and Procephalothrix species), whereas other species varied in metric values or only one character state (Ramphogordius). In some species, the sperm nucleus has grooves (Zygonemertes virescens, Amphiporus imparispinosus) that may be twisted and give a spiral shape to the sperm head (Paranemertes peregrina, Emplectonema gracile). To make the characters from sperm ultrastructure accessible for further phylogenetic analyses, they were coded in a character matrix. Published data for eight species turned out to be sufficiently detailed to be included. Comparative evaluation of available information on the sperm ultrastructure suggests that subtaxa of Heteronemertea and Hoplonemertea are supported as monophyletic by sperm morphology. However, the data do not provide information on the existing contradictions regarding the internal relationships of "Palaeonemertea." Nevertheless, our study provides evidence that sperm ultrastructure yields numerous potentially informative characters that will be included in upcoming phylogenetic analyses.

  3. Chromosomal abnormalities in human sperm

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, R.H.

    1985-01-01

    The ability to analyze human sperm chromosome complements after penetration of zona pellucida-free hamster eggs provides the first opportunity to study the frequency and type of chromosomal abnormalities in human gametes. Two large-scale studies have provided information on normal men. We have studied 1,426 sperm complements from 45 normal men and found an abnormality rate of 8.9%. Brandriff et al. (5) found 8.1% abnormal complements in 909 sperm from 4 men. The distribution of numerical and structural abnormalities was markedly dissimilar in the 2 studies. The frequency of aneuploidy was 5% in our sample and only 1.6% in Brandriff's, perhaps reflecting individual variability among donors. The frequency of 24,YY sperm was low: 0/1,426 and 1/909. This suggests that the estimates of nondisjunction based on fluorescent Y body data (1% to 5%) are not accurate. We have also studied men at increased risk of sperm chromosomal abnormalities. The frequency of chromosomally unbalanced sperm in 6 men heterozygous for structural abnormalities varied dramatically: 77% for t11;22, 32% for t6;14, 19% for t5;18, 13% for t14;21, and 0% for inv 3 and 7. We have also studied 13 cancer patients before and after radiotherapy and demonstrated a significant dose-dependent increase of sperm chromosome abnormalities (numerical and structural) 36 months after radiation treatment.

  4. Sperm ubiquitination in epididymal feline semen.

    PubMed

    Vernocchi, Valentina; Morselli, Maria Giorgia; Varesi, Sara; Nonnis, Simona; Maffioli, Elisa; Negri, Armando; Tedeschi, Gabriella; Luvoni, Gaia Cecilia

    2014-09-01

    Ubiquitin is a 8.5-kDa peptide that tags other proteins for proteasomal degradation. It has been proposed that ubiquitination might be responsible for the elimination of defective spermatozoa during transit through the epididymis in humans and cattle, but its exact biological function in seminal plasma has not yet been clarified. In the domestic cat (Felis catus), the percentage of immature, unviable, and abnormal spermatozoa decreases during the epididymal transit, indicating the existence of a mechanism that removes defective spermatozoa. Magnetic cell separation techniques, based on the use of magnetic beads coated with anti-ubiquitin antibodies, may allow the selective capture of ubiquitinated spermatozoa from semen, thus contributing to the identification of a potential correlation between semen quality and ubiquitination process. Moreover, the selective identification of all the ubiquitinated proteins in different epididymal regions could give a better understanding of the ubiquitin role in feline sperm maturation. The aims of this study were as follows: (1) to verify the possibility of separating ubiquitinated spermatozoa with magnetic ubiquitin beads and identify the morphological and acrosomal differences between whole sample and unbound gametes, (2) to characterize all the ubiquitinated proteins in spermatozoa retrieved in the three epididymal regions by a proteomic approach. The data indicated the presence of ubiquitinated proteins in cat epididymal semen. However, a correlation between abnormal and ubiquitinated spermatozoa has not been found, and ubiquitin cannot be considered as a biomarker of quality of epididymal feline spermatozoa. To the author's knowledge, this is the first identification of all the ubiquitinated proteins of cat spermatozoa collected from different epididymal regions. The proteomic pattern allows a further characterization of cat epididymal semen and represents a contribute to a better understanding of the ubiquitin role in

  5. Hormone-induced cortical maturation ensures the slow block to polyspermy and does not couple with meiotic maturation in starfish.

    PubMed

    Hirohashi, Noritaka; Harada, Kaori; Chiba, Kazuyoshi

    2008-06-01

    Meiotic progression in starfish oocytes is reinitiated by a maturation-inducing hormone called 1-methyladenine (1-MeAde). In addition to meiotic maturation, 1-MeAde induces cortical maturation in which cortical granules become competent to discharge in response to fusion of a single sperm, which results in the formation of the fertilization envelope. We found that subthreshold concentrations of 1-MeAde induce cortical maturation without germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD). During cortical maturation, the IP3 sensitivity of calcium stores was increased as well as during meiotic maturation. When oocytes were exposed with 1-MeAde only on a hemisphere of oocytes, the IP3 sensitivity of the cortical region was increased only in the exposed hemisphere, suggesting that signals and components involved in cortical maturation do not readily spread in the cytoplasm. Although a specific inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, LY294002 blocked both GVBD and cortical maturation, a Cdc2 kinase inhibitor, roscovitine did not block cortical maturation. Inhibition of Akt activation by injecting the competitors for Akt phosphorylation and membrane recruitment also blocked cortical maturation. These results suggest that the signaling pathway leading to Akt activation is common in cortical maturation and meiotic maturation, and Cdc2 activation was not required for cortical maturation.

  6. Lectin binding of human sperm associates with DEFB126 mutation and serves as a potential biomarker for subfertility

    PubMed Central

    Xin, Aijie; Cheng, Li; Diao, Hua; Wu, Yancheng; Zhou, Shumin; Shi, Changgen; Sun, Yangyang; Wang, Peng; Duan, Shiwei; Zheng, Jufen; Wu, Bin; Yuan, Yao; Gu, Yihua; Chen, Guowu; Sun, Xiaoxi; Shi, Huijuan; Tao, Shengce; Zhang, Yonglian

    2016-01-01

    Coating on the sperm surface, glycocalyx, plays a key role in sperm motility, maturation and fertilization. A comprehensive profile of sperm surface glycans will greatly facilitate both basic researches and clinical studies. Because of the capability of recognizing different glycan moieties, lectins are widely used in glycobiology. However, lacking high-throughput technology, limited lectins have been reported for analyzing the glycan of human sperm. In this study, we employed a lectin microarray for profiling the surface glycans of human sperm, on which 54 out of 91 lectins showed positive binding. Based on this technique, we compared lectin binding profiling of sperm with homozygous DEFB126 mutation (del/del) with that of wild type (wt/wt). DEFB126 was reported to contribute to the sialylation on sperm surface and its homozygous mutation was related to male subfertility. Six lectins (Jacalin/AIA, GHA, ACL, MPL, VVL and ABA) were found to develop lower binding affinity to sperm with del/del. Further validation showed that these lectins, especially ABA and MPL, can be potential biomarkers for clinical diagnosis of subfertility due to the mutation of DEFB126. Our research provides insight into the detection of some unexplained male subfertility, and the lectin microarray is generally applicable for infertility/subfertility sperm biomarker discovery. PMID:26832966

  7. Lectin binding of human sperm associates with DEFB126 mutation and serves as a potential biomarker for subfertility.

    PubMed

    Xin, Aijie; Cheng, Li; Diao, Hua; Wu, Yancheng; Zhou, Shumin; Shi, Changgen; Sun, Yangyang; Wang, Peng; Duan, Shiwei; Zheng, Jufen; Wu, Bin; Yuan, Yao; Gu, Yihua; Chen, Guowu; Sun, Xiaoxi; Shi, Huijuan; Tao, Shengce; Zhang, Yonglian

    2016-02-01

    Coating on the sperm surface, glycocalyx, plays a key role in sperm motility, maturation and fertilization. A comprehensive profile of sperm surface glycans will greatly facilitate both basic researches and clinical studies. Because of the capability of recognizing different glycan moieties, lectins are widely used in glycobiology. However, lacking high-throughput technology, limited lectins have been reported for analyzing the glycan of human sperm. In this study, we employed a lectin microarray for profiling the surface glycans of human sperm, on which 54 out of 91 lectins showed positive binding. Based on this technique, we compared lectin binding profiling of sperm with homozygous DEFB126 mutation (del/del) with that of wild type (wt/wt). DEFB126 was reported to contribute to the sialylation on sperm surface and its homozygous mutation was related to male subfertility. Six lectins (Jacalin/AIA, GHA, ACL, MPL, VVL and ABA) were found to develop lower binding affinity to sperm with del/del. Further validation showed that these lectins, especially ABA and MPL, can be potential biomarkers for clinical diagnosis of subfertility due to the mutation of DEFB126. Our research provides insight into the detection of some unexplained male subfertility, and the lectin microarray is generally applicable for infertility/subfertility sperm biomarker discovery.

  8. Heavy ion radiation can promote greater motility and enolase protein expression in ram sperm in in vitro liquid storage.

    PubMed

    He, Yuxuan; Li, Hongyan; He, Jianhua; Zhao, Xingxu

    2014-08-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the effects of heavy ion radiation (HIR) on ram sperm quality during 24h of in vitro liquid storage at 15°C, and identify the most appropriate dose which did not injure, but actually improved sperm quality and confirmed the relationship between highly expressed enolase and ram sperm quality during storage in vitro. Six Dorset ram (Ovis aries) semen pools from five mature and healthy rams were each divided into seven experimental groups with different doses of HIR (0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5Gy) under the same experimental conditions. Sperm motility, viability, ATP content, and the gene and protein expression of enolase were measured at 24h of storage. Irradiated semen which had been stored for 24h, retained not only greater sperm motility, viability, and ATP content, but had greater enolase protein expression. This was evidenced by increased amounts of mRNA for this enzyme and amount of enolase protein as compared with semen from control rams, especially for the 0.1Gy group (P<0.001). These results indicate that HIR can promote enhanced motility and viability during in vitro liquid storage, and the 0.1Gy may be a suitable dose for improving sperm quality. Greater amounts of enolase and ATP content may results from enhanced sperm glycolysis by HIR. HIR enhances sperm glycolysis to generate sufficient ATP for maintaining sperm motility during storage.

  9. In vitro decondensation of the sperm chromatin in Holothuria tubulosa (sea cucumber) not affecting proteolysis of basic nuclear proteins.

    PubMed

    del Valle, Luis J

    2005-06-01

    Sea urchin and sea star oocyte extracts contain proteolytic activities that are active against sperm basic nuclear proteins (SNBP). This SNBP degradation has been related to the decondensation of sperm chromatin as a possible model to male pronuclei formation. We have studied the presence of this proteolytic activity in Holothuria tubulosa (sea cucumber) and its possible relationship with sperm nuclei decondensation. The mature oocyte extracts from H. tubulosa contain a proteolytic activity to SNBP located in the macromolecular fraction of the egg-jelly layer. SNBP degradation occurred both on sperm nuclei and on purified SNBP, histones being more easily degraded than protein Ø(o) (sperm-specific protein). SNBP degradation was found to be dependent on concentration, incubation time, presence of Ca(2+), pH, and this activity could be a serine-proteinase. Thermal denaturalization of the oocyte extracts (80 degrees C, 10-15 min) inactivates its proteolytic activity on SNBP but does not affect sperm nuclei decondensation. These results would suggest that sperm nuclei decondensation occurs by a mechanism different from SNBP degradation. Thus, the sperm nuclei decondensation occurs by a thermostable factor(s) and the removal of linker SNBP (H1 and protein Ø(o)) will be a first condition in the process of sperm chromatin remodeling.

  10. An ultrastructural study of spermatogenesis and sperm morula breakdown in Arenicola marina (L.) (Annelida: Polychaeta)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pacey, A. A.; Bentley, M. G.

    1992-06-01

    Spermatogenesis in the lugworm Arenicola marina, in common with other members of Arenicolidae, occurs in the coelomic fluid and results in the formation of discs of mature spermatozoa known as a morulae. Within a morula, individual spermatozoa are connected by a common mass of cytoplasm called the cytophore and therefore make up a syncitium. Immediately prior to spawning, and in response to an endocrine substance known as “Sperm Maturation Factor” (SMF), the structure of the sperm morulae breaks down and free spermatozoa are liberated. These are subsequently spawned from the body cavity. The investigation described here uses transmission electron microscopy to investigate the ultrastructural changes, which accompany spermatogenesis and the breakdown of sperm morulae in response to SMF in vitro. The study demonstrates that the cytophore appears to have a key role both during spermatogenesis and during sperm morula breakdown. The ultrastructure of sperm morulae and of mature spermatozoa is described. The structure of spermatozoa is shown to be primitive with a single flagellum which appears to be coiled at its distal end. The phagocytosis of free spermatozoa by coelomocytes is also described and it is suggested that these may play a role in the resorption of unspawned gametes in vivo.

  11. Yolk protein is expressed in the insect testis and interacts with sperm

    PubMed Central

    Bebas, Piotr; Kotwica, Joanna; Joachimiak, Ewa; Giebultowicz, Jadwiga M

    2008-01-01

    Background Male and female gametes follow diverse developmental pathways dictated by their distinct roles in fertilization. While oocytes of oviparous animals accumulate yolk in the cytoplasm, spermatozoa slough off most of their cytoplasm in the process of individualization. Mammalian spermatozoa released from the testis undergo extensive modifications in the seminal ducts involving a variety of glycoproteins. Ultrastructural studies suggest that glycoproteins are involved in sperm maturation in insects; however, their characterization at the molecular level is lacking. We reported previously that the circadian clock controls sperm release and maturation in several insect species. In the moth, Spodoptera littoralis, the secretion of glycoproteins into the seminal fluid occurs in a daily rhythmic pattern. The purpose of this study was to characterize seminal fluid glycoproteins in this species and elucidate their role in the process of sperm maturation. Results We collected seminal fluid proteins from males before and after daily sperm release. These samples were separated by 2-D gel electrophoresis, and gels were treated with a glycoprotein-detecting probe. We observed a group of abundant glycoproteins in the sample collected after sperm release, which was absent in the sample collected before sperm release. Sequencing of these glycoproteins by mass spectroscopy revealed peptides bearing homology with components of yolk, which is known to accumulate in developing oocytes. This unexpected result was confirmed by Western blotting demonstrating that seminal fluid contains protein immunoreactive to antibody against yolk protein YP2 produced in the follicle cells surrounding developing oocytes. We cloned the fragment of yp2 cDNA from S. littoralis and determined that it is expressed in both ovaries and testes. yp2 mRNA and YP2 protein were detected in the somatic cyst cells enveloping sperm inside the testis. During the period of sperm release, YP2 protein appears in

  12. Sperm competition and sperm cooperation: the potential role of diploid and haploid expression.

    PubMed

    Immler, Simone

    2008-03-01

    Sperm competition is a powerful selective force driving the evolution of sperm shape and function. Recent findings suggest that sperm cooperation is a potential evolutionary response to sperm competition. Sperm cooperation may enhance the performance of the ejaculate increasing a male's chance to outcompete rival males in competition for fertilisation. Whether and how sperm cooperation may evolve is the focal point of this review. The relative importance of haploid and diploid gene expression for the evolution of sperm cooperation and the potential conflict of interest between (i) haploid sperm and diploid male and (ii) among sibling sperm, since sibling sperm only share an average of 50% of their genes in a diploid organism, are discussed. Furthermore, sperm cooperation is defined and the literature for empirical evidence of sperm cooperation is reviewed in light of the author's definitions.

  13. The localization of protein carboxyl-methylase in sperm tails

    PubMed Central

    1980-01-01

    Protein carboxyl-methylase (PCM), an enzyme known to be involved in exocytotic secretion and chemotaxis, has been studied in rat and rabbit spermatozoa. PCM activity and its substrate methyl acceptor protein(s) (MAP) were demonstrated in the supernate after solubilization of the sperm cell membrane by detergent (Triton X-100). A protein methylesterase that hydrolyzes methyl ester bonds created by PCM was demonstrated in rabbit but not in rat spermatozoa. This enzyme was not solubilized by nonionic detergent. The specific activities of PCM in rat spermatozoa from caput and cauda epididymis were similar and lower than that found in testis. By contrast, MAP substrates were low in testis and increased in parallel with sperm maturation in the epididymis. Multiple MAP were demonstrated in spermatozoa by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The pattern of these proteins was similar in spermatozoa from different portions of the reproductive tract. Fractionation of heads and tails of rat spermatozoa on sucrose gradients indicated that PCM was found exclusively in the tail fraction, whereas MAP was detected both in head and tail fractions. The presence of all the components of the protein carboxyl-methylation system in spermatozoa and the localization of PCM and some of its substrates in the sperm tail are consistent with their involvement in sperm cell motility. PMID:7400214

  14. Chd5 orchestrates chromatin remodeling during sperm development

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wangzhi; Wu, Jie; Kim, Sang-Yong; Zhao, Ming; Hearn, Stephen A.; Zhang, Michael Q.; Meistrich, Marvin L.

    2014-01-01

    One of the most remarkable chromatin remodeling processes occurs during spermiogenesis, the post-meiotic phase of sperm development during which histones are replaced with sperm-specific protamines to repackage the genome into the highly compact chromatin structure of mature sperm. Here we identify Chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 5 (Chd5) as a master regulator of the histone-to-protamine chromatin remodeling process. Chd5 deficiency leads to defective sperm chromatin compaction and male infertility in mice, mirroring the observation of low CHD5 expression in testes of infertile men. Chd5 orchestrates a cascade of molecular events required for histone removal and replacement, including histone 4 (H4) hyperacetylation, histone variant expression, nucleosome eviction, and DNA damage repair. Chd5 deficiency also perturbs expression of transition proteins (Tnp1/Tnp2) and protamines (Prm1/2). These findings define Chd5 as a multi-faceted mediator of histone-to-protamine replacement and depict the cascade of molecular events underlying chromatin remodeling during this process of extensive chromatin remodeling. PMID:24818823

  15. Sperm-agglutinating antibodies and testicular morphology in fifty-nine men with azoospermia or cryptozoospermia.

    PubMed

    Friberg, J; Kjessler, B

    1975-04-01

    The relationship between the state of the germinal epithelium and the type and titer of circulating sperm-agglutinating antibodies has been investigated in a series of 59 azoospermic or occasionally cryptozoospermic men. The patients were grouped according to the condition of the germinal epithelium as observed from testicular biopsy specimens, as well as to type and titer of circulating sperm-agglutinating antibodies investigated by a previously described microagglutination technique. Evidence is presented to suggest that the presence of mature spermatozoa in the testicular structures may be a prerequisite for the spontaneous production of circulating sperm-agglutinating antibodies, at least of the head-to-tail (H-T) agglutinating type. Furthermore, these circulating H-T sperm-agglutinating antibodies, once they are formed, do not seem to interfere adversely with the germinal epithelium of the carrier.

  16. Comparison among different cryoprotectants for cryopreservation of epididymal sperm from agouti (Dasyprocta leporina).

    PubMed

    Castelo, T S; Silva, A M; Bezerra, L G P; Costa, C Y M; Lago, A E A; Bezerra, J A B; Campos, L B; Praxedes, E C G; Silva, A R

    2015-12-01

    We verify the effects of different cryoprotectants on the cryopreservation of agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) epididymal sperm. We used 16 pairs of testes-epididymis complexes of sexually mature animals. We immediately evaluated epididymal sperm obtained by retrograde flushing for concentration, motility, vigor, viability, osmotic response, and morphology. Samples were extended in a coconut water extender plus 20% egg yolk, containing glycerol, ethylene glycol, dimethylsulfoxide - DMSO, or dimethylformamide. Finally, samples were stored in 0.25 mL straws, frozen in liquid nitrogen, and thawed after one week, being reevaluated and assessed for membrane integrity using fluorescent probes. The higher values for postthawing sperm motility, vigor, and membrane integrity were achieved by the usage of glycerol, when compared to ethylene glycol and dimethylformamide (P < 0.05); however, no differences were found between glycerol and DMSO (P > 0.05). All cryoprotectants provided a similar effect on the preservation of sperm morphology, osmotic response, and viability (P > 0.05). Therefore, here onwards, there was testing of glycerol and DMSO at 3 and 6% concentrations using the same freezing-thawing protocol reported previously. As the main result, DMSO at 6% concentration provided a decrease in sperm parameters, as well as in the chromatin integrity and in the binding capability of sperm. In conclusion, glycerol 3 or 6% and DMSO 3% can be used as alternative cryoprotectants for agouti epididymal sperm cryopreservation.

  17. An environmentally relevant organochlorine mixture impairs sperm function and embryo development in the porcine model.

    PubMed

    Campagna, Céline; Guillemette, Christine; Paradis, René; Sirard, Marc-André; Ayotte, Pierre; Bailey, Janice L

    2002-07-01

    We evaluated the effects of an environmentally relevant mixture of more than 15 organochlorines on the development of pig oocytes and sperm during in vitro fertilization (IVF). Oocytes were cocultured with sperm in IVF medium containing increasing concentrations of an organochlorine mixture, similar to that found in women of highly exposed populations. Exposure to the organochlorine mixture diminished oocyte penetration rates and polyspermy in a linear manner. The mixture did not affect rates of cleavage nor development to multicell embryos. However, rates of development to the blastocyst stage were lower at the highest concentration at which oocyte penetration was observed. The same experiment was performed using oocytes that were preexposed during in vitro maturation. This greater exposure to the mixture also reduced penetration in a dose-response manner and affected polyspermy. Frozen-thawed pig sperm were also cultured in IVF medium containing the same organochlorine concentrations. Sperm motility parameters were immediately reduced in a dose-dependent manner by the organochlorines, followed by diminished viability 2 h later. From these results, it appears that reduced sperm quality would account for decreases in fertilization, polyspermy, and blastocyst formation. These results suggest that exposing porcine oocytes and sperm to an environmentally pertinent organochlorine mixture in vitro disrupts the oocyte block to polyspermy, sperm fertility, and further embryonic development, and supports recent concerns that such pollutants harm reproductive health in humans and other species.

  18. Bayesian sperm competition estimates.

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Beatrix; Clark, Andrew G

    2003-01-01

    We introduce a Bayesian method for estimating parameters for a model of multiple mating and sperm displacement from genotype counts of brood-structured data. The model is initially targeted for Drosophila melanogaster, but is easily adapted to other organisms. The method is appropriate for use with field studies where the number of mates and the genotypes of the mates cannot be controlled, but where unlinked markers have been collected for a set of females and a sample of their offspring. Advantages over previous approaches include full use of multilocus information and the ability to cope appropriately with missing data and ambiguities about which alleles are maternally vs. paternally inherited. The advantages of including X-linked markers are also demonstrated. PMID:12663555

  19. Seasonal changes of sperm storage and correlative structures in male and female soft-shelled turtles, Trionyx sinensis.

    PubMed

    Xiangkun, Han; Li, Zhang; Meiying, Li; Huijun, Bao; Nainan, Hei; Qiusheng, Chen

    2008-11-01

    Reproductive ducts of male and female soft-shelled turtles, Trionyx sinensis were examined throughout the year (March, May, September, December) using brightfield and electron microscopes (TEM and SEM), to determine the location and histomorphological characteristics of sperm storage structures as well as their changes at different phases of the seasonal reproductive cycle. Sperm stored in the epididymis were also examined. In the male, spermatogenesis is initiated in spring (May), and then the mature sperm are released in autumn as an episodic event. Spermatogenesis is inactive in winter. However, in this species, the epididymis contains sperm throughout the entire year. Sperm observed in the epididymis are intact and some structures are uniquely different from other reptiles, and is characterized by 35-40 concentric mitochondria with a dense core in the centre. Many glycogen granules are observed in the cytoplasm of the midpiece. However, the epithelial cell type of epididymal duct change in different seasons. The cells are fully developed with a highly secretory activity in September. The materials secreted from the epithelium might have the function as nourishment for the stored sperm. Sperm storage structures in the form of tubules are observed in the wall of the isthmus of the oviduct in hibernating females but are absent in the groups of May and September. These tubules develop either by folding or fusion of the oviductal mucosal folds and are lined by both ciliated and secretory cells. These tubules might provide a microenvironment for the sperm to enable its long-term storage. After being separated 4 months (December-March) from the male, sperm are observed in the tubules of the isthmus of the oviduct. The unique character of the sperm combined with the special sperm storage structures enable the sperm to maintain fertility and activity during their storage.

  20. Cauda Epididymis-Specific Beta-Defensin 126 Promotes Sperm Motility but Not Fertilizing Ability in Cattle.

    PubMed

    Fernandez-Fuertes, Beatriz; Narciandi, Fernando; O'Farrelly, Cliona; Kelly, Alan K; Fair, Sean; Meade, Kieran G; Lonergan, Patrick

    2016-12-01

    Bovine beta-defensin 126 (BBD126) exhibits preferential expression for the cauda epididymis of males, where it is absorbed onto the tail and postacrosomal region of the sperm. The aim of this study was to examine the role of BBD126 in bull sperm function. Fresh and frozen-thawed semen were incubated in the presence of different capacitating agents as well as with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C. These treatments, which have been successful in releasing beta-defensin 126 from macaque sperm, proved to be ineffective in bull sperm. This finding suggests that the protein behaves in a different manner in the bovine. The lack of success in removing BBD126 led us to use corpus epididymis sperm, a model in which the protein is not present, to study its functional role. Corpus sperm were incubated with cauda epididymal fluid (CEF) in the absence or presence of BBD126 antibody or with recombinant BBD126 (rBBD126). Confocal microscopy revealed that rBBD126 binds to corpus sperm with the same pattern observed for BBD126 in cauda sperm, whereas an aberrant binding pattern is observed when sperm are subject to CEF incubation. Addition of CEF increased motility as well as the number of corpus sperm migrating through cervical mucus from estrus cows. However, it decreased the ability of sperm to fertilize in vitro matured oocytes. The presence of the antibody failed to abrogate these effects. Furthermore, when rBBD126 was added in the absence of other factors and proteins from the CEF, an increase in motility was also observed and no negative effects in fertility were seen. These results suggest that BBD126 plays a key role in the acquisition of sperm motility in the epididymis. © 2016 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

  1. An epididymis-specific carboxyl esterase CES5A is required for sperm capacitation and male fertility in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Ru, Yan-Fei; Xue, Hai-Min; Ni, Zi-Mei; Xia, Dong; Zhou, Yu-Chuan; Zhang, Yong-Lian

    2015-01-01

    Despite the fact that the phenomenon of capacitation was discovered over half century ago and much progress has been made in identifying sperm events involved in capacitation, few specific molecules of epididymal origin have been identified as being directly involved in this process in vivo. Previously, our group cloned and characterized a carboxyl esterase gene Ces5a in the rat epididymis. The CES5A protein is mainly expressed in the corpus and cauda epididymidis and secreted into the corresponding lumens. Here, we report the function of CES5A in sperm maturation. By local injection of Lentivirus-mediated siRNA in the CES5A-expressing region of the rat epididymis, Ces5a-knockdown animal models were created. These animals exhibited an inhibited sperm capacitation and a reduction in male fertility. These results suggest that CES5A plays an important role in sperm maturation and male fertility. PMID:25475668

  2. Relative testis size and sperm morphometry across mammals: no evidence for an association between sperm competition and sperm length.

    PubMed Central

    Gage, Matthew J G; Freckleton, Robert P

    2003-01-01

    Understanding why there is extensive variation in sperm form and function across taxa has been a challenge because sperm are specialized cells operating at a microscopic level in a complex environment. This comparative study collates published data to determine whether the evolution of sperm morphometry (sperm total length and separate component dimensions) is associated with sperm competition (when different males' sperm mix and compete for a female's ova) across 83 mammalian species. We use relative testes mass as an indicator of the intensity of sperm competition across taxa: relative investment into testes is widely accepted to predict the level of sperm competition that a species or population endures. Although we found evidence for positive associations between relative testes mass (controlling for allometry) and sperm morphometry across 83 mammalian species, these relationships were phylogenetically dependent. When we appropriately controlled for phylogenetic association using multiple regression within a phylogenetic framework, there was no relationship between relative testes mass and sperm length across mammals. Furthermore, we found no evidence for associations between relative testes mass and sperm head, mid-piece or flagellar lengths, nor was there a relationship with mid-piece or mitochondrial volumes. Results, therefore, indicate that sperm competition does not select for longer or shorter sperm across mammals, and alternative forces selecting on sperm form and function are discussed. PMID:12769463

  3. A Comparative Analysis of the Morphology and Evolution of Permanent Sperm Depletion in Spiders

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Once thought to be energetically cheap and easy to produce, empirical work has shown that sperm is a costly and limited resource for males. In some spider species, there is behavioral evidence that sperm are permanently depleted after a single mating. This extreme degree of mating investment appears to co-occur with other reproductive strategies common to spiders, e.g. genital mutilation and sexual cannibalism. Here we corroborate that sperm depletion in the golden orb-web spider Nephila clavipes is permanent by uncovering its mechanistic basis using light and electron microscopy. In addition, we use a phylogeny-based statistical analysis to test the evolutionary relationships between permanent sperm depletion (PSD) and other reproductive strategies in spiders. Male testes do not produce sperm during adulthood, which is unusual in spiders. Instead, spermatogenesis is nearly synchronous and ends before the maturation molt. Testis size decreases as males approach their maturation molt and reaches its lowest point after sperm is transferred into the male copulatory organs (pedipalps). As a consequence, the amount of sperm available to males for mating is limited to the sperm contained in the pedipalps, and once it is used, males lose their ability to fertilize eggs. Our data suggest that PSD has evolved independently at least three times within web-building spiders and is significantly correlated with the evolution of other mating strategies that limit males to monogamy, including genital mutilation and sexual cannibalism. We conclude that PSD may be an energy-saving adaptation in species where males are limited to monogamy. This could be particularly important in web-building spiders where extreme sexual size dimorphism results in large, sedentary females and small, searching males who rarely feed as adults and are vulnerable to starvation. Future work will explore possible energetic benefits and the evolutionary lability of PSD relative to other mate

  4. A comparative analysis of the morphology and evolution of permanent sperm depletion in spiders.

    PubMed

    Michalik, Peter; Rittschof, Clare C

    2011-01-11

    Once thought to be energetically cheap and easy to produce, empirical work has shown that sperm is a costly and limited resource for males. In some spider species, there is behavioral evidence that sperm are permanently depleted after a single mating. This extreme degree of mating investment appears to co-occur with other reproductive strategies common to spiders, e.g. genital mutilation and sexual cannibalism. Here we corroborate that sperm depletion in the golden orb-web spider Nephila clavipes is permanent by uncovering its mechanistic basis using light and electron microscopy. In addition, we use a phylogeny-based statistical analysis to test the evolutionary relationships between permanent sperm depletion (PSD) and other reproductive strategies in spiders. Male testes do not produce sperm during adulthood, which is unusual in spiders. Instead, spermatogenesis is nearly synchronous and ends before the maturation molt. Testis size decreases as males approach their maturation molt and reaches its lowest point after sperm is transferred into the male copulatory organs (pedipalps). As a consequence, the amount of sperm available to males for mating is limited to the sperm contained in the pedipalps, and once it is used, males lose their ability to fertilize eggs. Our data suggest that PSD has evolved independently at least three times within web-building spiders and is significantly correlated with the evolution of other mating strategies that limit males to monogamy, including genital mutilation and sexual cannibalism. We conclude that PSD may be an energy-saving adaptation in species where males are limited to monogamy. This could be particularly important in web-building spiders where extreme sexual size dimorphism results in large, sedentary females and small, searching males who rarely feed as adults and are vulnerable to starvation. Future work will explore possible energetic benefits and the evolutionary lability of PSD relative to other mate

  5. Histones and nucleosomes in Cancer sperm (Decapod: Crustacea) previously described as lacking basic DNA-associated proteins: a new model of sperm chromatin.

    PubMed

    Kurtz, Kathryn; Martínez-Soler, Fina; Ausió, Juan; Chiva, Manel

    2008-10-01

    To date several studies have been carried out which indicate that DNA of crustacean sperm is neither bound nor organized by basic proteins and, contrary to the rest of spermatozoa, do not contain highly packaged chromatin. Since this is the only known case of this type among metazoan cells, we have re-examined the composition, and partially the structure, of the mature sperm chromatin of Cancer pagurus, which has previously been described as lacking basic DNA-associated proteins. The results we present here show that: (a) sperm DNA of C. pagurus is bound by histones forming nucleosomes of 170 base pairs, (b) the ratio [histones/DNA] in sperm of two Cancer species is 0.5 and 0.6 (w/w). This ratio is quite lower than the proportion [proteins/DNA] that we found in other sperm nuclei with histones or protamines, whose value is from 1.0 to 1.2 (w/w), (c) histone H4 is highly acetylated in mature sperm chromatin of C. pagurus. Other histones (H3 and H2B) are also acetylated, though the level is much lower than that of histone H4. The low ratio of histones to DNA, along with the high level of acetylation of these proteins, explains the non-compact, decondensed state of the peculiar chromatin in the sperm studied here. In the final section we offer an explanation for the necessity of such decondensed chromatin during gamete fertilization of this species. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  6. Scrotal heat stress effects on sperm viability, sperm DNA integrity, and the offspring sex ratio in mice.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Crespo, M; Pintado, B; Gutiérrez-Adán, A

    2008-01-01

    Evidence exists to suggest detrimental effects of heat stress on male fertility. This study was designed to assess the effects of scrotal heat stress on mature and developing sperm in a mouse model. After receiving shock heat treatment (42 degrees C for 30 min), mature spermatozoa were recovered from the epididymis hours (6) or Days (7, 14, 21, 28, 60) later, to determine the variables: number of spermatozoa, sperm viability, motility and progressive motility, sperm DNA integrity as established by the TUNEL method, embryo implantation rate, and sex ratio of the fetuses conceived using the heat-exposed spermatozoa. Our results indicate that transient mild heat treatment does not affect in the same way the different types of male germ cells. Spermatocytes present within the testis at the time of heat stress resulted into a lower concentration of spermatozoa with reduced viability and low motility. Even though, DNA integrity of spermatozoa resulting from spermatocytes was also compromised by heat stress, the higher degree of DNA damage was found among spermatozoa resulting from spermatids present within the testis at the time of heat stress. At last, heat shock effect on spermatozoa present in the epididymis at the time of thermal stress resulted into a sex ratio distortion. These findings point to a higher sensitivity of spermatocytes to heat exposure and also suggest a different response of X and Y chromosome-bearing spermatozoa to heat stress that warrants further investigation.

  7. Morphological diversity of sperm: A mini review

    PubMed Central

    Prakash, Seppan; Prithiviraj, Elumalai; Suresh, Sekar; Lakshmi, Nagella Venkata; Ganesh, Mohanraj Karthik; Anuradha, Murugesan; Ganesh, Lakshmanan; Dinesh, Premavathy

    2014-01-01

    Sperms are highly specialized cells for delivering DNA from male to the ovum. Incredibly, wide degree of diversity in sperm morphology in their basic structures i.e. head, middle piece and tail is found across species. Differences in terms of overall size of the sperm, shape and number of sperm produced are also incredible. One of the key for this variations or diversity in sperm may be associated with female reproductive tract, sperm competition, testicular size and sperm size and number. Establishing a correlation between sperm morphology and factors influencing them is a phenomenal task. In this mini-review these associations and the anatomical and functional adaptations among different from of sperm cells that have evolved to optimize fertilization success are discussed. Nevertheless, explaining these morphological diversities in sperm cells is a challenging question and it seems that evolutionary biologists have only recently engaged in exploring its links and patterns. From the literatures it seems that there is no causal relationship between sperm size and testicular size, however, the accumulated knowledge do indicates evolution of sperm morphology across species has some associations with female reproductive tract, sperm competition and sperm size and number, however interpreting these results for phylogentic correlations should be approached with caution. PMID:24976817

  8. Sperm storage and viability in Photinus fireflies.

    PubMed

    Demary, Kristian C

    2005-07-01

    In many species females mate with and store sperm from multiple males, and some female insects have evolved multiple compartments for sperm storage. Sperm storage and sperm viability were investigated in two firefly species, Photinus greeni and P. ignitus, which differ in the morphology of the female reproductive tract. Although the primary spermatheca is similar in both species, P. greeni females have an additional, conspicuous outpocketing within the bursa copulatrix whose potential role in sperm storage was investigated in this study. An assay that distinguishes between live and dead sperm was used to examine sperm viability in male seminal vesicles and sperm storage sites within the female reproductive tract. For both Photinus species, sperm from male seminal vesicles showed significantly higher viability compared to sperm from the primary spermatheca of single mated females. In single mated P. greeni females, sperm taken from the channel outpocketing (secondary spermatheca) showed significantly higher viability compared to sperm from the primary spermatheca. This sperm viability difference was not evident in double mated females. There were no significant differences between P. greeni and P. ignitus females in the viability of sperm from the primary spermatheca. These studies contribute to our understanding of post-mating processes that may influence paternity success, and suggest that sexual conflict over control of fertilizations may occur in multiply mated firefly females.

  9. Zinc content of maturing spermatozoa in oestrogen treated rats.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, A; Chowdhury, A R; Setty, B S

    1983-02-01

    Zinc content of spermatozoa collected from the caput and cauda portions of the rat epididymis was determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy. The results showed about 60% reduction in the spermatozoal zinc content by the time they reach the cauda epididymis. This reduction was inhibited in rats receiving micro dose oestrogen which induced 'functional' sterility. It appears that the fall in zinc content of spermatozoa during their transport in the epididymis is related to sperm maturation and that oestrogen treatment interferes with this reduction in sperm zinc content.

  10. Sperm-Egg Interaction: Evidence for Boar Sperm Plasma Membrane Receptors for Porcine Zona Pellucida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, Rudolph N.; Russell, Lonnie; Bundman, Donna; Freund, Matthew

    1980-01-01

    Freshly ejaculated, noncapacitated boar sperm bind rapidly and in large numbers to pig egg zona pellucida in vitro. In the present study, the number of sperm bound decreased sharply when sperm motility was lowered by energy poisons or by reducing the temperature. Highly motile sperm from humans, guinea pigs, and rats, added at concentrations ten times higher than control sperm, did not bind to the porcine zona. At the same high concentration, a small number of hamster and bull sperm bound to the zona. Binding of boar sperm to the zona pellucida was blocked almost completely by diluted whole antiserum to sperm plasma membranes and by univalent (Fab) antibody to these membranes. When antibody to sperm plasma membrane was first absorbed with plasma membrane vesicles, sperm binding was not inhibited. These results provide direct evidence for the existence of sperm plasma membrane receptors for the zona pellucida of the pig.

  11. Expression of DNA repair genes in porcine oocytes before and after fertilization by ICSI using freeze-dried sperm.

    PubMed

    Men, Nguyen Thi; Kikuchi, Kazuhiro; Furusawa, Tadashi; Dang-Nguyen, Thanh Quang; Nakai, Michiko; Fukuda, Atsunori; Noguchi, Junko; Kaneko, Hiroyuki; Viet Linh, Nguyen; Xuan Nguyen, Bui; Tajima, Atsushi

    2016-11-01

    Boar sperm freeze-dried with trehalose showed a protective effect against sperm DNA fragmentation. However, normal fertilization and embryonic development were not improved. Damaged sperm may activate maternal DNA repair genes when injected into oocytes. Therefore, we investigated the expression profile of some DNA repair genes in porcine oocytes after intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection. First, the expression levels of MGMT, UDG, XPC, MSH2, XRCC6 and RAD51 genes that are concerned with different types of DNA repair were examined in in vitro mature (IVM) oocytes injected with ejaculated sperm, or freeze-dried sperm with or without trehalose. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction revealed that expression of six DNA repair genes in the oocytes at 4 h after injection did not differ among the four groups. Next, we investigated the gene expression levels of these genes at different stages of maturation. The relative expression levels of UDG and XPC were significantly up-regulated in mature oocytes compared with earlier stages. Furthermore, there was an increased tendency in relative expression of MSH2 and RAD51. These results suggested two possible mechanisms that messenger RNA of DNA repair genes are either accumulated during IVM to be ready for fertilization or increased expression levels of DNA repair genes in oocytes caused by suboptimal IVM conditions.

  12. Using Fresh and Frozen Testicular Sperm Samples in Couples Undergoing ICSI-MicroTESE Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Tavukcuoglu, Safak; AL-Azawi, Tahani; AL-Hasani, Safaa; Khaki, Amir Afshin; Khaki, Arash; Tasdemir, Seval

    2013-01-01

    Background We performed this study to evaluate use of fresh and frozen sperm samples in non-obstructive azoospermia microdissection testicular sperm extraction (micro-TESE-ICSI) treatment. Methods We performed a total of 82 consecutive in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles at Fertijin IVF Center in Istanbul, Turkey from January 2010 to March 2012. In 43 participants we used fresh sperm and frozen sperm in the remaining 39 cases. We used fresh and frozen thawed micro surgical testicular sperm extraction (micro TESE) sperm for ICSI with metaphase II (MII) oocytes. Results Frozen microTESE sperm was used in 39 cycles, while 43 ICSI cycles were performed using fresh microTESE. Neither the age of male partners (38.33±5.93 and 38.13±8.28) nor that of the female participants (33.16±6.38 and 33.33±6.97) showed significant difference between fresh versus the microTESE and frozen treatment groups, respectively. FSH concentrations were (14.66±13.93 mIU/ml) in fresh TESE group and (17.91±16.29 mIU/ml) in frozen group with no correlations or differences between the two groups. The average number of mature oocytes injected with sperm was 9.23±3.77, versus 9.26±5.26 in cycles using fresh and frozen microTESE sperm, respectively. Fertilization rate was not significantly different in the fresh microTESE (44.79%) than frozen TESE sperm group (46.76%). The average number of transferred embryos was 1.60±0.49 in fresh sperm group and 1.59±0.50 in frozen sperm group. All embryo transfers were performed on day 3. Conclusion Cryopreservation of testicular sperm tissues is more suitable and of great benefite if carried out before ovulation induction and not after, especially in cases with non-obstructive azoospermia. PMID:23926569

  13. Sperm quality evaluation in Solea senegalensis during the reproductive season at cellular level.

    PubMed

    Beirão, J; Soares, F; Herráez, M P; Dinis, M T; Cabrita, E

    2009-12-01

    Sperm quality seems to be one of the reasons for the reproduction constraints faced by Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) aquaculturists. Previous studies in this species indicated that the sperm quality of individuals kept in culture varies throughout the year and that different sperm subpopulations can be identified in ejaculates according to the motility pattern of spermatozoa. Aiming to better understand factors affecting sole sperm quality in captivity, sperm of 11 males was assessed during the reproductive season using different parameters: motility characteristics using CASA analysis; cell plasma membrane resistance to seawater hyperosmolarity; DNA fragmentation with single-cell gel electrophoresis; and early apoptosis, labeled with Annexin-V FITC. Computer-assisted sperm analyses motility data were treated using multivariate analysis to identify the presence of different spermatozoa subpopulations according to their motility pattern. Four distinct sperm subpopulations were obtained: Subpop1, which includes fast linear spermatozoa; Subpop2, made up of fast nonlinear spermatozoa; Subpop3, which includes slow linear spermatozoa; and Subpop4, which contains slow nonlinear spermatozoa. The sperm subpopulation structure varied with time after activation and with male. Low cell resistance to the seawater hyperosmotic conditions was noticed. The Annexin-V assay allowed the identification of an apoptotic population ranging from 6% to 20%. A high percentage of cells (64.1%) showed a DNA fragmentation level below 30%, but these values varied significantly between males. DNA fragmentation appears to be related to cell membrane resistance to hyperosmotic conditions faced by the cells when in contact with seawater. This condition seems to modulate the composition of the motile sperm population and performance after activation. This phenomenon could be related to the spermatozoa maturation process.

  14. Oocyte Activation and Fertilisation: Crucial Contributors from the Sperm and Oocyte.

    PubMed

    Yeste, Marc; Jones, Celine; Amdani, Siti Nornadhirah; Coward, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    This chapter intends to summarise the importance of sperm- and oocyte-derived factors in the processes of sperm-oocyte binding and oocyte activation. First, we describe the initial interaction between sperm and the zona pellucida, with particular regard to acrosome exocytosis. We then describe how sperm and oocyte membranes fuse, with special reference to the discovery of the sperm protein IZUMO1 and its interaction with the oocyte membrane receptor JUNO. We then focus specifically upon oocyte activation, the fundamental process by which the oocyte is alleviated from metaphase II arrest by a sperm-soluble factor. The identity of this sperm factor has been the source of much debate recently, although mounting evidence, from several different laboratories, provides strong support for phospholipase C ζ (PLCζ), a sperm-specific phospholipase. Herein, we discuss the evidence in support of PLCζ and evaluate the potential role of other candidate proteins, such as post-acrosomal WW-binding domain protein (PAWP/WBP2NL). Since the cascade of downstream events triggered by the sperm-borne oocyte activation factor heavily relies upon specialised cellular machinery within the oocyte, we also discuss the critical role of oocyte-borne factors, such as the inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R), protein kinase C (PKC), store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), during the process of oocyte activation. In order to place the implications of these various factors and processes into a clinical context, we proceed to describe their potential association with oocyte activation failure and discuss how clinical techniques such as the in vitro maturation of oocytes may affect oocyte activation ability. Finally, we contemplate the role of artificial oocyte activating agents in the clinical rescue of oocyte activation deficiency and discuss options for more endogenous alternatives.

  15. Sperm competition games: the risk model can generate higher sperm allocation to virgin females.

    PubMed

    Ball, M A; Parker, G A

    2007-03-01

    We examine the risk model in sperm competition games for cases where female fertility increases significantly with sperm numbers (sperm limitation). Without sperm competition, sperm allocation increases with sperm limitation. We define 'average risk' as the probability q that females in the population mate twice, and 'perceived risk' as the information males gain about the sperm competition probability with individual females. If males obtain no information from individual females, sperm numbers increase with q unless sperm limitation is high and one of the two competing ejaculates is strongly disfavoured. If males can distinguish between virgin and mated females, greater sperm allocation to virgins is favoured by high sperm limitation, high q, and by the second male's ejaculate being disfavoured. With high sperm limitation, sperm allocation to virgins increases and to mated females decreases with q at high q levels. With perfect information about female mating pattern, sperm allocation (i) to virgins that will mate again exceeds that to mated females and to virgins that will mate only once, (ii) to virgins that mate only once exceeds that for mated females if q is high and there is high second male disadvantage and (iii) to each type of female can decrease with q if sperm limitation is high, although the average allocation increases at least across low q levels. In general, higher sperm allocation to virgins is favoured by: strong disadvantage to the second ejaculate, high sperm limitation, high average risk and increased information (perceived risk). These conditions may apply in a few species, especially spiders.

  16. Correlation between sperm ultrastructure in infertile patients with abnormal sperm morphology and DNA damage.

    PubMed

    He, M; Tan, L

    2015-12-15

    This study explored the correlation between sperm ultrastructure in infertile patients with abnormal sperm morphology and DNA damage. Three unusual sperm morphologies were selected for the experimental group namely case 1 (95% headless sperm), case 2 (98% headless sperm), and case 3 (100% headless sperm), and the control group consisted of 2 subjects (20 and 15% headless sperm). For case 1, the patient was negative for sexually transmitted diseases and had normal semen plasma biochemistry, reproductive hormones, peripheral blood chromosomes, and azoospermia factor (AZF). The aneuploid rate of sperm chromosomes was 0.6%, and DNA damage index of sperm nuclei was 84.4%. The partner of this patient did not get pregnant after artificial reproductive technology assistance. For case 2, the aneuploid rate of sperm chromosomes was 0.8% and DNA damage index of sperm nuclei was 95%. This patient and his spouse did not choose assisted reproduction. For case 3, reproductive hormones, peripheral blood chromosomes and AZF were normal and the aneuploid rate of sperm chromosomes was 0.2%. The wife of this patient gave birth to a healthy baby after ova removal, fertilization and transplantation. For the control group, the aneuploid rate of sperm chromosomes and DNA damage index of sperm nuclei were approximately 0.3 and 30%, respectively. To sum up, sperm ultrastructure of infertile patients suffering from unusual sperm morphology is associated with DNA damage to some extent and can cause infertility. However, pregnancy is still possible through intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

  17. Evolution of the vertebrate epididymis.

    PubMed

    Jones, R C

    1998-01-01

    This review examines the structure and function of the extratesticular sperm ducts of vertebrates in terms of their evolutionary development and adaptive significance. The primitive extratesticular duct system of Chondrichthyes is described as an example of the vertebrate archetype. Adaptations of the duct system in higher vertebrates have involved a loss of some structures and specialization of others. The duct system probably evolved as a homeostatic mechanism to facilitate fertilization and some embryological development under conditions protected from the external environment. However, it is argued that the ducts also play an important role in the competition between males to achieve paternity. In vertebrates that practise internal fertilization the ducts are involved in post-testicular maturation and storage of spermatozoa. The biological significance of post-testicular sperm maturation has not been resolved. By contrast, sperm storage is essential in most male vertebrates because of the slow rate of spermatogenesis, particularly in ectotherms. Sperm storage is also important in the competition between males for paternity as it enables a male to mate a 'partner' a number of times during an oestrus in order to reduce the prospect of being cuckolded by another male. The extent of sperm maturation and storage in the epididymis of particular vertebrates depends on the relative roles of the testis and its extragonadal ducts in the competition between males for paternity. These roles depend on a number of factors, including allometric limitations to testis size, metabolic rate and the development of endothermy, and the reproductive strategy of females of the species.

  18. Influence of sperm pretreatment on the efficiency of intracytoplasmic sperm injection in pigs.

    PubMed

    García-Roselló, Empar; Matás, Carmen; Cánovas, Sebastián; Moreira, Pedro N; Gadea, Joaquín; Coy, Pilar

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of sperm pretreatment on the efficiency of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in pigs. This was done by examining the effect of 1) the conservation method (fresh vs frozen); 2) the sperm treatment preinjection (resuspension in Dulbecco phosphate-buffered saline (DPBS) vs selection by a Percoll gradient); and 3) the acrosomal and live or dead status of the spermatozoa (by incubation with or without calcium ionophore, 1 muM and 5 muM). In vitro matured porcine oocytes were injected with treated spermatozoa according to each experiment. All the experiments were done with non-artificially activated oocytes. The percentages of activation and cleavage were higher (68% vs 43% and 63% vs 43%, respectively, P < .05) in oocytes injected with fresh vs frozen spermatozoa. The DPBS treatment allowed higher cleavage proportions than the Percoll treatment (P < .05). Moreover, a boar effect was observed in the percentage of developing blastocysts. None of the studied parameters was affected by the acrosomal or the live or dead status of the spermatozoa injected. In conclusion, the use of fresh semen is recommended for porcine ICSI, as well as careful selection of the boar; Percoll treatment is only recommended for poor-quality samples or for removing toxic agents, and no exogenous form of activation or induction of the acrosome reaction is necessary for porcine oocytes to develop a male pronucleus and cleave up to the 2-cell stage after ICSI, although experimental conditions to reach the blastocyst stage need to be investigated further.

  19. Functional nonequivalence of sperm in Drosophila pseudoobscura.

    PubMed Central

    Snook, R R; Markow, T A; Karr, T L

    1994-01-01

    We report on a form of sperm polymorphism, termed polymegaly, that occurs in species of the Drosophila obscura group. Individual males of species in this group characteristically produce more than one discrete length of nucleated, motile sperm. Hypotheses suggested to explain the evolutionary significance of sperm polymorphism have been either nonadaptive or adaptive, with the latter focusing on sperm competition or nutrient provisioning. These hypotheses assume all sperm types fertilize eggs; however, no data have been gathered to test this assumption. We found that two size classes of sperm are produced and transferred to females in approximately equal numbers by the male; only long sperm persist in significant numbers in female sperm storage organs. Furthermore, we used a DNA-specific dye (bisbenzimide) and sperm-specific antibodies to ask if both sperm types fertilize eggs in Drosophila pseudoobscura. Confocal microscopy and immunofluorescent analyses of fertilized eggs using anti-sperm polyclonal antisera demonstrated that only long sperm participate in fertilization. These data falsify those hypotheses in which all sperm types are assumed to be functionally equivalent (fertilize eggs). Any remaining or new hypotheses for the evolutionary significance of polymegaly must incorporate these findings. Several new areas of research are suggested. Images PMID:7972038

  20. Sperm nuclear DNA fragmentation rate is associated with differential protein expression and enriched functions in human seminal plasma.

    PubMed

    Intasqui, Paula; Camargo, Mariana; Del Giudice, Paula T; Spaine, Deborah M; Carvalho, Valdemir M; Cardozo, Karina H M; Zylbersztejn, Daniel S; Bertolla, Ricardo P

    2013-10-01

    To analyse the proteomic profile of seminal plasma with the aim of identifying the proteins and post-genomic pathways associated with sperm DNA fragmentation. A cross-sectional study including 89 subjects from a human reproduction service was carried out. All semen samples were assessed for sperm DNA fragmentation using a comet assay. Results from 60 sperm were analysed using Komet 6.0.1 software and the 'Olive tail moment' variable was used to stratify these into low and high sperm DNA fragmentation groups. Seminal plasma proteins from the two groups were pooled and used for proteomic analysis. Quantitative data were used for functional enrichment studies. Seventy-two proteins were identified or quantified in seminal plasma. Of these, nine were differentially expressed in the low group and 21 in the high group. Forty-two proteins were conserved between these groups. Functional enrichment analysis indicated that sperm DNA fragmentation was related to functions such as lipoprotein particle remodelling and regulation, fatty acid binding and immune response. Proteins found exclusively in the low group may be involved in correcting spermatogenesis and/or improving sperm function. Proteins in the high group were associated with increased innate immune response, sperm motility and/or maturation and inhibition of mitochondrial apoptosis. Protein expression and post-genomic pathways of seminal plasma differ according to the rate of sperm DNA integrity. © 2013 The Authors. BJU International © 2013 BJU International.

  1. The effect of different ambient temperatures on river lamprey (Lampetrafluviatilis) egg and sperm production under controlled conditions.

    PubMed

    Cejko, Beata Irena; Judycka, Sylwia; Kujawa, Roman

    2016-12-01

    Reproductive performance (ovulation/spermation rate and relative fecundity of females) of adult river lamprey (Lampetrafluviatilis) was compared among adults held under three different controlled thermal regimes (7, 10 and 14°C). The quantity of semen (volume of semen, sperm concentration, total sperm production and total number of sperm) and the weight of the eggs as well as the semen quality (sperm motility, seminal plasma osmolality and pH, sperm pH and total protein content) were determined. Housing temperature had no apparent effect on quality or quantity of eggs produced, but did influence time of ovulation. On the other hand, temperature had a significant effect on the quantity and quality of sperm produced; 70% of males held at 10°C and 14°C did not spermiate. The best ambient temperature for river lamprey adults held under controlled conditions was 7°C. All males kept in this temperature yielded mature semen with the highest sperm motility parameters. It was also found that among the six tested solutions, the most suitable artificial medium for river lamprey sperm activation was 20mM Tris buffer containing 40mM NaHCO3 at pH 8.5 and 100mOsmkg(-1). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. The heterotrimeric motor protein kinesin-II localizes to the midpiece and flagellum of sea urchin and sand dollar sperm.

    PubMed

    Henson, J H; Cole, D G; Roesener, C D; Capuano, S; Mendola, R J; Scholey, J M

    1997-01-01

    We have utilized immunoblotting and light microscopic immunofluorescent staining methods to examine the expression and localization of sea urchin kinesin-II, a heterotrimeric plus end-directed microtubule motor protein (previously referred to as KRP(85/95)), in sea urchin and sand dollar sperm. We demonstrate the presence of the 85 K and 115 K subunits of kinesin-II in sperm and localize these proteins to the sperm flagella and midpiece. The kinesin-II localization pattern is punctate and discontinuous, and in the flagella it is quite distinct from the continuous labeling present in sperm labeled with anti-flagellar dynein. The kinesin-II staining is largely insensitive to prefixation detergent extraction, suggesting that it is not associated with membranous elements in the sperm. In the midpiece the kinesin-II staining is similar to the pattern present in sperm labeled with an anti-centrosomal antibody. To our knowledge, this is the first localization of kinesin-like proteins in mature sperm and corroborates the recent identification and localization of kinesin-like proteins in the flagella and basal body of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas. We hypothesize that kinesin-II in the sperm may play functional roles in intraflagellar transport and/or the formation of flagella during spermatogenesis.

  3. Sperm cryopreservation of the Indian major carp, Labeo calbasu: effects of cryoprotectants, cooling rates and thawing rates on egg fertilization.

    PubMed

    Nahiduzzaman, Md; Hassan, Md Mahbubul; Roy, Pankoz Kumar; Hossain, Md Akhtar; Hossain, Mostafa Ali Reza; Tiersch, Terrence R

    2012-12-01

    A sperm cryopreservation protocol for the Indian major carp, Labeo calbasu, was developed for long-term preservation and artificial fertilization. Milt collected from mature male fish were placed in Alsever's solution (296mOsmolkg(-1)) to immobilize the sperm. Cryoprotectant toxicity was evaluated by motility assessment with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and methanol at 5, 10 and 15% concentrations. DMSO was more toxic at higher concentrations than methanol, and consequently 15% DMSO was excluded from further study. A one-step cooling protocol (from 5 to 80°C) with two cooling rates (5 and 10°C/min) was carried out in a computer-controlled freezer (FREEZE CONTROL(®) CL-3300; Australia). Based on post-thaw motility, the 10°C/min cooling rate with either 10% DMSO or 10% methanol yielded significantly higher (P=0.011) post-thaw motility than the other rate and cryoprotectant concentrations. Sperm thawed at 40°C for 15s and fresh sperm were used to fertilize freshly collected L. calbasu eggs and significant differences were observed (P=0.001) in percent fertilization between cryopreserved and fresh sperm as well as among different sperm-to-egg ratios (P=0.001). The highest fertilization and hatching rates were observed for thawed sperm at a sperm-to-egg ratio of 4.1×10(5):1. The cryopreservation protocol developed can facilitate hatchery operations and long-term conservation of genetic resources of L. calbasu.

  4. Localization and identification of sumoylated proteins in human sperm: excessive sumoylation is a marker of defective spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Vigodner, Margarita; Shrivastava, Vibha; Gutstein, Leah Elisheva; Schneider, Jordana; Nieves, Edward; Goldstein, Marc; Feliciano, Miriam; Callaway, Myrasol

    2013-01-01

    Sumoylation is a type of post-translational modification that is implicated in the regulation of numerous cellular events. However, its role in the function of human sperm has not yet been characterized. In this study, both immunofluorescence and electron microscopy revealed that small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMO) SUMO1 and SUMO2/3 were highly enriched in the neck area of human sperm that is associated with the redundant nuclear envelope and were also detectable in the flagella and some head regions. Similar localization patterns of SUMO were also observed in mouse and fly sperm. Nonmotile, two-tailed, curled tailed, misshapen, microcephalic (small head) and aciphalic (no head) sperm exhibited abnormally high levels of sumoylation in their neck and tail regions relative to normal sperm. Numerous sumoylated proteins, ranging from 20 to 260 kDa, were detected via western blotting and identified by mass spectrometry, and 55 SUMO targets that were present specifically in human sperm, and not in the control fraction, corresponded to flagella proteins, proteins involved in the maturation and differentiation of sperm, heat shock proteins and important glycolytic and mitochondrial enzymes. The targets that were identified included proteins with specific functions in germ cells and sperm, such as heat shock-related 70-kDa protein 2, outer dense fiber protein 3, A-kinase anchor proteins 3 and 4, L-lactate dehydrogenase C, sperm protein associated with the nucleus on the X chromosome B/F, valosin-containing protein, seminogelins, histone H4 and ubiquitin. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments confirmed the sumoylation of semenogelin and indicated that some sperm proteins are modified by sumoylation and ubiquitination simultaneously. Numerous proteins are modified by sumoylation in human sperm; excessive sumoylation is a marker of defective spermatozoa.

  5. Sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA®).

    PubMed

    Evenson, Donald P

    2013-01-01

    The SCSA(®) is the pioneering assay for the detection of damaged sperm DNA and altered proteins in sperm nuclei via flow cytometry of acridine orange (AO) stained sperm. The SCSA(®) is considered to be the most precise and repeatable test providing very unique, dual parameter data (red vs. green fluorescence) on a 1,024 × 1,024 channel scale, not only on DNA fragmentation but also on abnormal sperm characterized by lack of normal exchange of histones to protamines. Raw semen/sperm aliquots or purified sperm can be flash frozen, placed in a box with dry ice and shipped by overnight courier to an experienced SCSA(®) lab. The samples are individually thawed, prepared, and analyzed in ∼10 min. Of significance, data on 5,000 individual sperm are recorded on a 1,024 × 1,024 dot plot of green (native DNA) and red (broken DNA) fluorescence. Repeat measurements have virtually identical dot plot patterns demonstrating that the low pH treatment that opens up the DNA strands at the sites of breaks and staining by acridine orange (AO) are highly precise and repeatable (CVs of 1-3%) and the same between fresh and frozen samples. SCSAsoft(®) software transforms the X-Y data to total DNA stainability versus red/red + green fluoresence (DFI) providing a more accurate determination of % DFI as well as the more sensitive value of standard deviation of DFI (SD DFI) as demonstrated by animal fertility and dose-response toxicology studies. The current established clinical threshold is 25% DFI for placing a man into a statistical probability of the following: (a) longer time to natural pregnancy, (b) low odds of IUI pregnancy, (c) more miscarriages, or (d) no pregnancy. Changes in lifestyle as well as medical intervention can lower the %DFI to increase the probability of natural pregnancy. Couples of men with >25% DFI are counseled to try ICSI and when in the >50% range may consider TESE/ICSI. The SCSA(®) simultaneously determines the % of sperm with high DNA stainability (%HDS

  6. No evidence of sperm conjugate formation in an Australian mouse bearing sperm with three hooks

    PubMed Central

    Firman, Renée C; Bentley, Blair; Bowman, Faye; Marchant, Fernando García-Solís; Parthenay, Jahmila; Sawyer, Jessica; Stewart, Tom; O'Shea, James E

    2013-01-01

    Sperm conjugation occurs when two or more sperm physically unite for motility or transport through the female reproductive tract. In many muroid rodent species, sperm conjugates have been shown to form by a single, conspicuous apical hook located on the sperm head. These sperm “trains” have been reported to be highly variable in size and, despite all the heads pointing in roughly the same direction, exhibit a relatively disordered arrangement. In some species, sperm “trains” have been shown to enhance sperm swimming speed, and thus have been suggested to be advantageous in sperm competition. Here, we assessed the behavior of sperm in the sandy inland mouse (Pseudomys hermannsburgensis), a muroid rodent that bears sperm with three apical hooks. First, we accrued genetic evidence of multiple paternity within “wild” litters to unequivocally show that sperm competition does occur in this species. Following this we utilized both in vitro and in vivo methodologies to determine whether sandy inland mouse sperm conjugate to form motile trains. Our observations of in vitro preparations of active sperm revealed that sandy inland mouse sperm exhibit rapid, progressive motility as individual cells only. Similarly, histological sections of the reproductive tracts of mated females revealed no in vivo evidence of sperm conjugate formation. We conclude that the unique, three-hooked morphology of the sandy inland mouse sperm does not facilitate the formation of motile conjugates, and discuss our findings in relation to the different hypotheses for the evolution of the muroid rodent hook/s. PMID:23919134

  7. Sperm chromatin released by nucleases.

    PubMed

    Nazarov, Igor B; Shlyakhtenko, Luda S; Lyubchenko, Yuri L; Zalenskaya, Irina A; Zalensky, Andrei O

    2008-01-01

    In human spermatozoa, 15-20% of histones are retained in the nucleus to coexist with protamines. Hypothetically, nucleohistone regions of sperm chromatin mark DNA sequences for distinctive processing during fertilization and early embryogenesis. The structural organization and molecular composition of nucleohistones in human spermatozoa is poorly studied. Here, we isolate and characterize fractions of sperm chromatin that are solubilized by endogenous and micrococcal nucleases. Chromatin isolated by either nuclease have a nucleosomal organization with the periodicity of approximately 195 bp (endogenous nuclease digest) and approximately 189 bp (micrococcal nuclease digest), which is similar to that of somatic cells. A distinct feature of sperm nucleohistone is its specific compact supra-nucleosomal organization that was demonstrated by two-dimensional electrophoresis and by atomic force microscopy. The latter technique showed compacted fiber arrays composed of globular particles with the prevailing diameter of approximately 16 nm. A rough estimation indicates that histones may cover continuous stretches of >50 kbp of sperm DNA. This initial characterization of sperm chromatin solubilized by nucleases is important for our understanding of the bipartite structural organization of the paternal genome.

  8. Moss antheridia are desiccation tolerant: Rehydration dynamics influence sperm release in Bryum argenteum.

    PubMed

    Stark, Lloyd R; McLetchie, D Nicholas; Greenwood, Joshua L; Eppley, Sarah M

    2016-05-01

    Free-living sperm of mosses are known to be partially desiccation tolerant. We hypothesized that mature moss antheridia should also tolerate desiccation and that rehydration to partial turgor (prehydration) or rehydration to full turgor (rehydration) before immersion in water is required for full recovery from any damaging effects of prior desiccation. Bryum argenteum (silvery-thread moss) was grown in continuous culture for several months, produced mature perigonia (clusters of antheridia), and these were subjected to a slow rate of drying (∼36 h from full turgor to desiccation) and equilibration with 50% relative humidity. Perigonia were prehydrated (exposed to a saturated atmosphere) or rehydrated (planted upright in saturated media) for 0, 45, 90, 135, 180, and 1440 min, then immersed in sterile water. Time to first sperm mass release, number of antheridia releasing sperm masses, and the integrity of the first sperm mass released were assessed. Rehydration of dried antheridia for at least 3 h before immersion in water resulted in antheridia functioning similar to control undried antheridia. Compared with rehydration, prehydration was not effective in the recovery of antheridia from desiccation. For the first time, moss antheridia are shown to be fully desiccation tolerant at a functional level, capable of releasing fully functional sperm following a slow drying event provided the antheridia are allowed to rehydrate at least 3 h before immersion in water. © 2016 Botanical Society of America.

  9. Salvage hormonal therapy after failed microdissection testicular sperm extraction: A multi-institutional prospective study.

    PubMed

    Shiraishi, Koji; Ishikawa, Tomomoto; Watanabe, Noriko; Iwamoto, Teruaki; Matsuyama, Hideyasu

    2016-06-01

    To validate the efficacy of salvage hormonal therapy in men with non-obstructive azoospermia at their second microdissection testicular sperm extraction. This was a multi-institutional study registered at the Japanese University Hospital Medical Information Network clinical trial center. After 1 month of human chorionic gonadotropin therapy (5000 IU, three times a week), patients were treated with recombinant human follicle-stimulating hormone (150 IU, three times a week) and human chorionic gonadotropin for the next 3 months. Three testicular samples were obtained randomly from both testes, and sent for pathological diagnosis at the first and second microdissection testicular sperm extraction. A total of 21 men, excluding those with chromosomal abnormalities, azoospermia factor a or b deletions, extremely small testes (<2 mL), or prior hormonal therapy, were eligible to participate based on our inclusion criteria. At the first microdissection testicular sperm extraction, 13 and six patients had Sertoli cells only and an early maturation arrest, respectively. With the second microdissection testicular sperm extraction, sperm were successfully obtained from two patients (10%). Patient age, testicular volume and hormone profiles were not associated with the results of the second microdissection testicular sperm extraction. However, the testicular histology of the two successful patients were late maturation arrest and hypospermatogenesis. Effectiveness of human chorionic gonadotropin-based salvage hormonal therapy preceding a second microdissection testicular sperm extraction seems to be limited. Non-obstructive azoospermia men who have differentiated cells in their testes are likely to respond to hormonal stimulation. © 2016 The Japanese Urological Association.

  10. Easy sperm processing technique allowing exclusive accumulation and later usage of DNA-strandbreak-free spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Ebner, T; Shebl, O; Moser, M; Mayer, R B; Arzt, W; Tews, G

    2011-01-01

    Sperm DNA fragmentation is increased in poor-quality semen samples and correlates with failed fertilization, impaired preimplantation development and reduced pregnancy outcome. Common sperm preparation techniques may reduce the percentage of strandbreak-positive spermatozoa, but, to date, there is no reliable approach to exclusively accumulate strandbreak-free spermatozoa. To analyse the efficiency of special sperm selection chambers (Zech-selectors made of glass or polyethylene) in terms of strandbreak reduction, 39 subfertile men were recruited and three probes (native, density gradient and Zech-selector) were used to check for strand breaks using the sperm chromatin dispersion test. The mean percentage of affected spermatozoa in the ejaculate was 15.8 ± 7.8% (range 5.0–42.1%). Density gradient did not significantly improve the quality of spermatozoa selected(14.2 ± 7.0%). However, glass chambers completely removed 90% spermatozoa showing strand breaks and polyethylene chambers removed 76%. Both types of Zech-selectors were equivalent in their efficiency, significantly reduced DNA damage (P < 0.001) and,with respect to this, performed better than density gradient centrifugation (P < 0.001). As far as is known, this is the first report ona sperm preparation technique concentrating spermatozoa unaffected in terms of DNA damage. The special chambers most probably select for sperm motility and/or maturity.

  11. Capacitation inducers act through diverse intracellular mechanisms in cryopreserved bovine sperm.

    PubMed

    Breininger, E; Cetica, P D; Beconi, M T

    2010-10-01

    The effect of various capacitation inducers, i.e. heparin, superoxide anion, bicarbonate, adenosine, and caffeine, and their role in intracellular mechanisms involved in capacitation, were studied in cryopreserved bovine sperm. Capacitation was determined by epifluorescence chlortetracycline, protein tyrosine phosphorylation, and the ability of capacitated sperm to undergo an acrosome reaction and fertilize in vitro matured oocytes. Participation of membrane adenylate cyclase and protein kinases (protein kinase A, protein kinase C, and protein tyrosine kinase) was evaluated indirectly (with specific inhibitors). Involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was determined with scavengers of superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide, or nitric oxide. Percentages of capacitated (27-29%) and acrosome-reacted sperm (23-26%) did not differ (P > 0.05) among various capacitation inducers. Significantly higher rates of IVF were obtained with heparin (43%) or bicarbonate plus caffeine (45%), when compared with control samples (17%). Adding the membrane adenylate cyclase inhibitor diminished capacitation rates with heparin (8%) or adenosine (10%). There was differential protein kinase participation in response to inducers; protein kinase inhibitors diminished cleavage rates in heparin-capacitated sperm relative to controls. There were differences between and within the studied inducers in protein tyrosine phosphorylation patterns. We inferred that capacitation in cryopreserved bovine sperm was promoted through diverse pathways. Mechanisms triggered by heparin, or caffeine plus bicarbonate-induced capacitation, involved activation of intracellular pathways to optimize fertilizing capability of cryopreserved bovine sperm.

  12. Low physiological levels of prostaglandins E2 and F2α improve human sperm functions.

    PubMed

    Rios, Mariana; Carreño, Daniela V; Oses, Carolina; Barrera, Nelson; Kerr, Bredford; Villalón, Manuel

    2016-03-01

    Prostaglandins (PGs) have been reported to be present in the seminal fluid and cervical mucus, affecting different stages of sperm maturation from spermatogenesis to the acrosome reaction. This study assessed the effects of low physiological PGE2 and PGF2α concentrations on human sperm motility and on the ability of the spermatozoa to bind to the zona pellucida (ZP). Human spermatozoa were isolated from seminal samples with normal concentration and motility parameters and incubated with 1μM PGE2, 1μM PGF2α or control solution to determine sperm motility and the ability to bind to human ZP. The effects of both PGs on intracellular calcium levels were determined. Incubation for 2 or 18h with PGE2 or PGF2α resulted in a significant (P<0.05) increase in the percentage of spermatozoa with progressive motility. In contrast with PGF2α, PGE2 alone induced an increase in sperm intracellular calcium levels; however, the percentage of sperm bound to the human ZP was doubled for both PGs. These results indicate that incubation of human spermatozoa with low physiological levels of PGE2 or PGF2α increases sperm functions and could improve conditions for assisted reproduction protocols.

  13. Unusual multisystemic pathology in a sperm whale bull.

    PubMed

    Lambertsen, R H; Kohn, B A

    1987-07-01

    This report describes an unusual combination of lesions and apparent behavioral abnormalities in a sexually mature sperm whale bull taken in whaling operations off Iceland. Lesions included heavy combative scarring of the head, grossly roughened and thickened skin on the lower left flank, cutaneous maculae, genital papillomatosis, partial duodenal obstruction by plastic debris, colo-rectal obstruction by ambergris, cystic degeneration of the right kidney, and a deeply ulcerative gastric nematodiasis. Sealskin was found in the stomach. Gross and histopathologic observations suggested that the disease complex in this animal may have been related both to habitat degradation and health risks naturally associated with its ecology and age.

  14. K+ and Cl− Channels and Transporters in Sperm Function

    PubMed Central

    Santi, C.M.; Orta, G.; Salkoff, L.

    2013-01-01

    To succeed in fertilization, spermatozoa must decode environmental cues which require a set of ion channels. Recent findings have revealed that K+ and Cl− channels participate in some of the main sperm functions. This work reviews the evidence indicating the involvement of K+ and Cl− channels in motility, maturation, and the acrosome reaction, and the advancement in identifying their molecular identity and modes of regulation. Improving our insight on how these channels operate will strengthen our ability to surmount some infertility problems, improve animal breeding, preserve biodiversity, and develop selective and secure male contraceptives. PMID:23287041

  15. Bioenergetics of Mammalian Sperm Capacitation

    PubMed Central

    Ferramosca, Alessandra; Zara, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    After ejaculation, the mammalian male gamete must undergo the capacitation process, which is a prerequisite for egg fertilization. The bioenergetics of sperm capacitation is poorly understood despite its fundamental role in sustaining the biochemical and molecular events occurring during gamete activation. Glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) are the two major metabolic pathways producing ATP which is the primary source of energy for spermatozoa. Since recent data suggest that spermatozoa have the ability to use different metabolic substrates, the main aim of this work is to present a broad overview of the current knowledge on the energy-producing metabolic pathways operating inside sperm mitochondria during capacitation in different mammalian species. Metabolism of glucose and of other energetic substrates, such as pyruvate, lactate, and citrate, is critically analyzed. Such knowledge, besides its obvious importance for basic science, could eventually translate into the development of novel strategies for treatment of male infertility, artificial reproduction, and sperm selection methods. PMID:24791005

  16. Ultrastructure of in vitro Matured Human Oocytes.

    PubMed

    Shahedi, Abbas; Khalili, Mohammad Ali; Soleimani, Mehrdad; Morshedizad, Shekoufeh

    2013-12-01

    Approximately 20% of recovered oocytes are immature and discarded in intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedures. These oocytes represent a potential resource for both clinical and basic science application. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ultrastructure architecture of in vitro matured human oocytes using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). A total of 204 immature oocytes from infertile patients who underwent ICSI cycles were included in this prospective study. Immature oocytes were divided into two groups: (i) GV oocytes (n = 101); and (ii) MI oocytes (n = 103). Supernumerary fresh in vivo matured oocytes (n = 10) were used as control. The rates of maturations were 61.38% for GV and 73.78% for MI oocytes in IVM medium (P = 0.07). However, the rate of oocyte arrest was significant between groups (P <0 .05). Ultrastructurally; in vitro and in vivo matured oocytes appeared round, with a homogeneous cytoplasm, an intact oolemma and an intact zona pellucida. However, immature oocytes indicated numerous large mitochondria-vesicle complexes (M-VC). Ultrastructural changes of M-VC in IVM groups emphasize the need for further research in order to refine culture conditions and improve the implantation rate of in-vitro matured oocytes.

  17. Human sperm rheotaxis: a passive physical process

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhuoran; Liu, Jun; Meriano, Jim; Ru, Changhai; Xie, Shaorong; Luo, Jun; Sun, Yu

    2016-01-01

    A long-standing question in natural reproduction is how mammalian sperm navigate inside female reproductive tract and finally reach the egg cell, or oocyte. Recently, fluid flow was proposed as a long–range guidance cue for sperm navigation. Coitus induces fluid flow from oviduct to uterus, and sperm align themselves against the flow direction and swim upstream, a phenomenon termed rheotaxis. Whether sperm rheotaxis is a passive process dominated by fluid mechanics, or sperm actively sense and adapt to fluid flow remains controversial. Here we report the first quantitative study of sperm flagellar motion during human sperm rheotaxis and provide direct evidence indicating that sperm rheotaxis is a passive process. Experimental results show that there is no significant difference in flagellar beating amplitude and asymmetry between rheotaxis-turning sperm and those sperm swimming freely in the absence of fluid flow. Additionally, fluorescence image tracking shows no Ca2+ influx during sperm rheotaxis turning, further suggesting there is no active signal transduction during human sperm rheotaxis. PMID:27005727

  18. SPERM COUNT DISTRIBUTIONS IN FERTILE MEN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sperm concentration and count are often used as indicators of environmental impacts on male reproductive health. Existing clinical databases may be biased towards subfertile men with low sperm counts and less is known about expected sperm count distributions in cohorts of fertil...

  19. Human sperm rheotaxis: a passive physical process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhuoran; Liu, Jun; Meriano, Jim; Ru, Changhai; Xie, Shaorong; Luo, Jun; Sun, Yu

    2016-03-01

    A long-standing question in natural reproduction is how mammalian sperm navigate inside female reproductive tract and finally reach the egg cell, or oocyte. Recently, fluid flow was proposed as a long–range guidance cue for sperm navigation. Coitus induces fluid flow from oviduct to uterus, and sperm align themselves against the flow direction and swim upstream, a phenomenon termed rheotaxis. Whether sperm rheotaxis is a passive process dominated by fluid mechanics, or sperm actively sense and adapt to fluid flow remains controversial. Here we report the first quantitative study of sperm flagellar motion during human sperm rheotaxis and provide direct evidence indicating that sperm rheotaxis is a passive process. Experimental results show that there is no significant difference in flagellar beating amplitude and asymmetry between rheotaxis-turning sperm and those sperm swimming freely in the absence of fluid flow. Additionally, fluorescence image tracking shows no Ca2+ influx during sperm rheotaxis turning, further suggesting there is no active signal transduction during human sperm rheotaxis.

  20. Roles of the reproductive tract in modifications of the sperm membrane surface

    PubMed Central

    KUO, Yu-Wen; LI, Sheng-Hsiang; MAEDA, Kei-Ichiro; GADELLA, Bart M.; TSAI, Pei Shiue J.

    2016-01-01

    Successful fertilization requires viable and functional spermatozoa to recognize and fuse with the oocyte. In most mammalian species, mature spermatozoa are not capable of fertilizing the oocytes immediately after ejaculation. However, unlike somatic cells, spermatozoa, after leaving the testis, are transcriptionally and translationally silent; therefore, upon completion of spermiogenesis, spermatozoa carry only a minimal amount of essential proteins on their membranes as well as within their restricted volume of cytoplasm. To develop into a fully functional and competent sperm that is capable of successful fertilization, modifications of the sperm membrane surface during its transit in the reproductive tracts is critical. These post-spermatogenesis modifications advance the maturation of epididymal spermatozoa. In addition, components secreted into the lumen of the reproductive tracts that are later added onto the sperm membrane surface also regulate (inhibit or activate) the functions of the spermatozoa. This acquisition of additional proteins from the reproductive tracts may compensate for the inactivity of morphologically mature spermatozoa. In this review, we discuss the contributions of the male and female genital tracts to modifications of the sperm membrane surface at different stages of fertilization. PMID:27009019

  1. A cost for high levels of sperm competition in rodents: increased sperm DNA fragmentation

    PubMed Central

    Roldan, Eduardo R. S.

    2016-01-01

    Sperm competition, a prevalent evolutionary process in which the spermatozoa of two or more males compete for the fertilization of the same ovum, leads to morphological and physiological adaptations, including increases in energetic metabolism that may serve to propel sperm faster but that may have negative effects on DNA integrity. Sperm DNA damage is associated with reduced rates of fertilization, embryo and fetal loss, offspring mortality, and mutations leading to genetic disease. We tested whether high levels of sperm competition affect sperm DNA integrity. We evaluated sperm DNA integrity in 18 species of rodents that differ in their levels of sperm competition using the sperm chromatin structure assay. DNA integrity was assessed upon sperm collection, in response to incubation under capacitating or non-capacitating conditions, and after exposure to physical and chemical stressors. Sperm DNA was very resistant to physical and chemical stressors, whereas incubation in non-capacitating and capacitating conditions resulted in only a small increase in sperm DNA damage. Importantly, levels of sperm competition were positively associated with sperm DNA fragmentation across rodent species. This is the first evidence showing that high levels of sperm competition lead to an important cost in the form of increased sperm DNA damage. PMID:26936246

  2. A cost for high levels of sperm competition in rodents: increased sperm DNA fragmentation.

    PubMed

    delBarco-Trillo, Javier; García-Álvarez, Olga; Soler, Ana Josefa; Tourmente, Maximiliano; Garde, José Julián; Roldan, Eduardo R S

    2016-03-16

    Sperm competition, a prevalent evolutionary process in which the spermatozoa of two or more males compete for the fertilization of the same ovum, leads to morphological and physiological adaptations, including increases in energetic metabolism that may serve to propel sperm faster but that may have negative effects on DNA integrity. Sperm DNA damage is associated with reduced rates of fertilization, embryo and fetal loss, offspring mortality, and mutations leading to genetic disease. We tested whether high levels of sperm competition affect sperm DNA integrity. We evaluated sperm DNA integrity in 18 species of rodents that differ in their levels of sperm competition using the sperm chromatin structure assay. DNA integrity was assessed upon sperm collection, in response to incubation under capacitating or non-capacitating conditions, and after exposure to physical and chemical stressors. Sperm DNA was very resistant to physical and chemical stressors, whereas incubation in non-capacitating and capacitating conditions resulted in only a small increase in sperm DNA damage. Importantly, levels of sperm competition were positively associated with sperm DNA fragmentation across rodent species. This is the first evidence showing that high levels of sperm competition lead to an important cost in the form of increased sperm DNA damage. © 2016 The Author(s).

  3. Spermiogenesis and Taxonomical Values of Sperm Ultrastructures in Male Crassostrea ariakensis (Fujita & Wakiya, 1929) (Pteroirmorphia: Ostreidae) in the Estuary of the Seomjin River, Korea

    PubMed Central

    Son, Pal Won; Chung, Jae Seung; Kim, Jin Hee; Kim, Sung Han; Chung, Ee-Yung

    2014-01-01

    Characteristics of the developmental stages of spermatids during spermiogenesis and phylogenetic classicfication of the species using sperm ultrastructures in male Crassostrea ariakensis were investigated by transmission electron microscope observations. The morphology of the spermatozoon of this species has a primitive type and is similar to those of Ostreidae. Ultrastructures of mature sperms are composed of broad, modified cap-shaped acrosomal vesicle and an axial rod in subacrosomal materials on an oval nucleus, four spherical mitochondria in the sperm midpiece, and satellite fibres which appear near the distal centriole. The axoneme of the sperm tail shows a 9+2 structure. Accordingly, the ultrastructural characteristics of mature sperm of C. ariakensis resemble to those of other investigated ostreids in Ostreidae in the subclass Pteriomorphia. In this study, particularly, two transverse bands (stripes) appear at the anterior region of the acrosomal vesicle of this species, unlike two or three transverse bands (stripes) in C. gigas. It is assumed that differences in this acrosomal substructure are associated with the inability of fertilization between the genus Crassostrea and other genus species in Ostreidae. Therefore, we can use sperm ultrastructures and morphologies in the resolution of taxonomic relationships within the Ostreidae in the subclass Pteriomorphia. These spermatozoa, which contain several ultrastructures such as acrosomal vesicle, an axial rod in the sperm head part and four mitochondria and satellite fibres in the sperm midpiece, belong to the family Ostreidae in the subclass Pteriomorphia. PMID:25949188

  4. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Outcomes with Freshly Ejaculated Sperms and Testicular or Epididymal Sperm Extraction in Patients with Idiopathic Cryptozoospermia

    PubMed Central

    Ketabchi, Ali Asghar

    2016-01-01

    Background Cryptozoospermia (CO) is a situation in which spermatozoa cannot be observed in a fresh semen sample unless an extended centrifugation and microscopic search are performed. CO patients are suggested to use only intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) as infertility treatment. But still there is debate about the choice of sperm source in cryptozoospermic men candidate for ICSI. Objectives This study was conducted to evaluate fertility outcomes in men with idiopathic cryptozoospermia who were treated using ICSI with freshly ejaculated sperm and testis sperm extraction (TESE) or percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA). Methods In this prospective cohort study carried out in an academic institution, 83 out of 92 couples with cryptozoospermia undergoing their first ICSI cycle were recruited. These patients were randomly allocated to two groups: group one (n = 42) who produced freshly ejaculated sperm and, group two (n = 41) who produced a sample by TESE or PESA. The groups were analyzed and compared in terms of fertilization rate, cleavage rate, embryo quality, implantation rate, and clinical pregnancy rate. Results There was a significant difference in fertilization rate, embryo quality, implantation rate, and pregnancy rates between the group of surgically extracted sperm and those of naturally ejaculated sperm using conventional ICSI (P < 0.05). Conclusions Sperm quality extracted by percutaneous PESA and TESE procedures increases fertility outcomes compared to naturally ejaculated sperm in men with idiopathic CO. More specifically, embryo quality, which is most relevant to fertility outcome, improved when surgically extracted sperm was used for ICSI. PMID:27896242

  5. Zn2+-stimulation of sperm capacitation and of the acrosome reaction is mediated by EGFR activation.

    PubMed

    Michailov, Yulia; Ickowicz, Debbi; Breitbart, Haim

    2014-12-15

    Extracellular zinc regulates cell proliferation via the MAP1 kinase pathway in several cell types, and has been shown to act as a signaling molecule. The testis contains a relatively high concentration of Zn(2+), required in both the early and late stages of spermatogenesis. Despite the clinical significance of this ion, its role in mature sperm cells is poorly understood. In this study, we characterized the role of Zn(2+) in sperm capacitation and in the acrosome reaction. Western blot analysis revealed the presence of ZnR of the GPR39 type in sperm cells. We previously demonstrated the presence of active epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in sperm, its possible transactivation by direct activation of G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR), and its involvement in sperm capacitation and in the acrosome reaction (AR). We show here that Zn(2+) activates the EGFR during sperm capacitation, which is mediated by activation of trans-membrane adenylyl cyclase (tmAC), protein kinase A (PKA), and the tyrosine kinase, Src. Moreover, the addition of Zn(2+) to capacitated sperm caused further stimulation of EGFR and phosphatydil-inositol-3-kinase (PI3K) phosphorylation, leading to the AR. The stimulation of the AR by Zn(2+) also occurred in the absence of Ca(2+) in the incubation medium, and required the tmAC, indicating that Zn(2+) activates a GPCR. The AR stimulated by Zn(2+) is mediated by GPR39 receptor, PKA, Src and the EGFR, as well as the EGFR down-stream effectors PI3K, phospholipase C (PLC) and protein kinase C (PKC). These data support a role for extracellular zinc, acting through the ZnR, in regulating multiple signaling pathways in sperm capacitation and the acrosome reaction.

  6. No evidence for sperm priming responses under varying sperm competition risk or intensity in guppies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Jonathan P.

    2009-07-01

    Sperm competition theory predicts that males should tailor their investment in ejaculates according to the number of rival males competing to fertilize a female’s eggs. Research spanning several taxa supports this prediction by showing that males are often sensitive to the level of sperm competition and adjust their investment in sperm numbers accordingly. More recent work has revealed that males may also tailor the quality of sperm according to the number of males competing for fertilization. Here I test for both effects in guppies ( Poecilia reticulata) in an experiment that simultaneously evaluates the risk and intensity models of sperm competition. The experiment determined whether male guppies adjust the number (stripped ejaculate size) and quality (sperm velocity and viability) of sperm that are primed over a 3-day period according to experimental changes in the perceived level of sperm competition. A total of 136 focal males were initially stripped of all retrievable sperm and assayed for these sperm traits before being allocated at random to one of four treatments simulating different levels of sperm competition risk and intensity. During the 3-day treatment phase, focal males had visual and olfactory access to a sexually receptive (initially virgin) female maintained with different numbers of stimulus males to simulate variation in the risk and intensity of sperm competition. Following this, males were assayed again for the sperm traits. Contrary to predictions, there was no significant change in any of the measured variables among treatments, although qualitatively the patterns for sperm velocity and viability did conform to expectation. The lack of any trend for the number of sperm primed was unequivocal and future work examining the effects of sperm competition on sperm production should focus on whether males differentially allocate sperm numbers among matings that differ in the level of sperm competition.

  7. Birth of domestic cat kittens of predetermined sex after transfer of embryos produced by in vitro fertilization of oocytes with flow-sorted sperm.

    PubMed

    Pope, C E; Crichton, E G; Gómez, M C; Dumas, C; Dresser, B L

    2009-03-15

    Our goals were to: (1) determine if domestic cat sperm could be sorted to high purity by flow cytometry after overnight shipment of cooled samples; (2) evaluate the efficiency with which sorted sperm could be used to generate cat embryos in vitro; and (3) determine if live kittens of predetermined sex could be produced after transfer of embryos derived by IVF using sorted sperm. Semen samples (n=5) from one male were extended in electrolyte-free solution and shipped overnight at 4 degrees C to the sorting facility. Samples were adjusted to 75x10(6)sperm/mL and stained with Hoechst 33342. After 1h at 34.5 degrees C, samples were adjusted to 50x10(6)sperm/mL with 4% egg yolk TALP+0.002% food dye and sorted by high-speed flow cytometry. Later resort analysis confirmed purities of 94% and 83% for X- and Y-chromosome bearing sperm, respectively. Sorted sperm were centrifuged, re-suspended in TEST yolk buffer and shipped overnight to the IVF laboratory. After IVF of in vivo matured oocytes with X-chromosome bearing sperm, cleavage frequency was 62% (54/87). After IVF of IVM oocytes with control, X- or Y-chromosome bearing sperm, the incidence of cleavage was 42% (48/115), 33% (40/120), and 35% (52/150), respectively, and blastocyst development was 53% (21/40), 50% (11/22), and 55% (23/42), respectively (P>0.05). On Day 2, 45 embryos produced by IVF of in vivo matured oocytes with X-chromosome bearing sperm were transferred to the oviduct of four Day 1 recipients, three of which subsequently delivered litters of one, four, and seven female kittens, respectively. In conclusion, we confirmed that sperm sorting technology can be applied to domestic cats and established that kittens of predetermined sex can be produced.

  8. SLC6 family transporter SNF-10 is required for protease-mediated activation of sperm motility in C. elegans

    PubMed Central

    Fenker, Kristin E.; Hansen, Angela A.; Chong, Conrad A.; Jud, Molly C.; Duffy, Brittany A.; Norton, J. Paul; Hansen, Jody M.; Stanfield, Gillian M.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Motility of sperm is crucial for their directed migration to the egg. The acquisition and modulation of motility are regulated to ensure that sperm move when and where needed, thereby promoting reproductive success. One specific example of this phenomenon occurs during differentiation of the amoeboid sperm of C. elegans as they activate from a round spermatid to a mature, crawling spermatozoon. Sperm activation is regulated by redundant pathways to occur at a specific time and place for each sex. Here, we report the identification of the solute carrier 6 (SLC6) transporter protein SNF-10 as a key regulator of C. elegans sperm activation in response to male protease activation signals. We find that SNF-10 is present in sperm and is required for activation by the male but not by the hermaphrodite. Loss of both snf-10 and a hermaphrodite activation factor render sperm completely insensitive to activation. Using in vitro assays, we find that snf-10 mutant sperm show a specific deficit in response to protease treatment but not to other activators. Prior to activation, SNF-10 is present in the plasma membrane, where it represents a strong candidate to receive signals that lead to subcellular morphogenesis. After activation, it shows polarized localization to the cell body region that is dependent on membrane fusions mediated by the dysferlin FER-1. Our discovery of snf-10 offers insight into the mechanisms differentially employed by the two sexes to accomplish the common goal of producing functional sperm, as well as how the physiology of nematode sperm may be regulated to control motility as it is in mammals. PMID:24929237

  9. Nuclear microscopy of sperm cell elemental structure

    SciTech Connect

    Bench, G.S.

    1994-12-31

    Theories have suggested that there is a link between protamine concentrations in individual sperm and sperm fertility. At present, biochemical analyses have only been performed on bulk populations and existing methods have not been able to determine what percentage of morphologically normal sperm are biochemically defective and potentially infertile. As part of an investigation into male sperm fertility, nuclear microscopy has been utilized to measure elemental profiles at the single sperm level. By measuring the ratio of Phosphorus to Sulfur the authors have been able to determine the amount of protamine 1 and protamine 2 in individual cells from bulk fertile samples of bull and mouse sperm. Preliminary results show that, for each species, the relative amounts of protamine 1 and protamine 2 in morphologically normal sperm agree well with expected values.

  10. Evolutionary sperm morphology and morphometry in armadillos.

    PubMed

    Cetica, P D; Solari, A J; Merani, M S; De Rosas, J C; Burgos, M H

    1998-04-01

    Little is known about the evolution of vertebrate spermatozoa. In most eutherian taxa a high degree of uniformity in sperm shapes and dimensions among species was observed. The aim of this work is to trace a possible evolutionary change in sperm morphology and morphometry in dasypodids. The main difference between the spermatozoa of the studied armadillos is the shape of the sperm heads. We have classified the spermatozoa into 4 different groups according with their head shapes. Sperm from group 1 (Dasypus) are considered ancestral and are clearly separated from the others. The remaining sperm types are derivative ones; those from group 2 (Tolypeutes) are farther from those of groups 3 (Priodontes and Cabassous) and 4 (Chaetopractus, Zaedyus and Euphractus) which would have recently differentiated from each other. The sperm shape and size are not constant across taxa in armadillos; an important evolutive differentiation was established on the sperm morphology and morphometry between the different genera in Dasypodidae.

  11. Sperm morphology training in India.

    PubMed

    Franken, D R; Joshi, C

    2015-10-01

    Sperm morphology is regarded as possibly the most consistent sperm variable that is related to in vitro and in vivo fertilisation success or failure. There is also a re-emerging awareness of andrology, particularly in developing countries where healthcare resources are often limited. This study aimed to record the importance of hands-on training on the sperm morphology reading skills among 174 Indian infertility workers. During a series of five workshops presented by the Indian Academy of Clinical Embryologists, delegates were requested to record the percentage normal spermatozoa on pre-stained Diff Quick slides. A total of four slides each containing different percentages normal spermatozoa were used during the workshops. The delegates were requested to record the percentage normal spermatozoa prior and after training. The results were expressed as the percentage difference between the reference value and the pre-training and post-training values reported by the workshop delegates. The percentage difference indicated a significant improvement in the reading skills, for example from 253 ± 244% to 20 ± 93% for slide 1. Similar values were recorded for slide 2, 3 and 4. If we consider the present findings as representative of medical laboratory scientist's sperm morphology reading skills, clinicians should be concerned about the diagnostic quality as far as male infertility is concerned. © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  12. Sperm in "parhenogenetic" freshwater gastrotrichs.

    PubMed

    Weiss, M J; Levy, D P

    1979-07-20

    Freshwater members of the phylum Gastrotricha have been considered obligate parthenogens. In Lepidodermelia squammata, the species for which there is most evidence for parthenogenesis, sperm have been discovered. This finding will necessitate reexamination of the nature of sexuality and life cycles and of the concept of "species" in freshwater gastrotrichs.

  13. Similarities and differences between the sperm quality index and sperm mobility index of broiler breeder semen.

    PubMed

    Dumpala, P R; Parker, H M; McDaniel, C D

    2006-12-01

    The sperm quality index (SQI) and sperm mobility index (SMI) both predict sperm motility. Previous research was conducted comparing the SMI with the SQI; however, semen was diluted improperly for the SQI (40-fold). For an accurate comparison, semen must be diluted 10-fold for the SQI. Therefore, the overall objective of this study, utilizing 4 experiments, was to examine the relationship of the SQI with the SMI when: 1) active, heat-inactivated, and boiled sperm were incubated and analyzed over 60 min, 2) motile and immotile sperm were combined, 3) dead sperm (boiled or frozen) and live sperm were combined, and 4) sperm were rendered immotile by adding Zn. In experiment 1, the SQI was stable throughout incubation for active sperm and zero for heat-inactivated and boiled sperm. The SMI from active sperm steadily increased over incubation. However, the SMI from heat-inactivated sperm increased drastically resulting in values higher than active sperm after 35 min of incubation. The SMI from active sperm was higher than boiled sperm throughout incubation. For experiment 2, a cubic increase in the SQI occurred as active sperm increased from 0 to 100%. However, there was no difference in SMI readings until samples contained 80% active sperm. In experiment 3, for both boiled and frozen sperm, as the percentage of viable sperm increased, there was a logarithmic increase in the SQI. The SMI values were similar for 0 and 100% viable sperm when using boiled sperm, and all SMI readings were similar to 0% viable for frozen sperm. For experiment 4, both the SQI and SMI values from semen incubated with Zn were lower than that of saline. The SQI from sperm incubated in saline was higher than that of Zn throughout incubation, yet there were no differences in SMI values after 90 min of incubation. In conclusion, both the SQI and SMI of sperm decrease in response to Zn. However, it appears that immotile and dead sperm are capable of increasing SMI values but not SQI values.

  14. Effect of male age on sperm traits and sperm competition success in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata).

    PubMed

    Gasparini, C; Marino, I A M; Boschetto, C; Pilastro, A

    2010-01-01

    Deleterious mutations can accumulate in the germline with age, decreasing the genetic quality of sperm and imposing a cost on female fitness. If these mutations also affect sperm competition ability or sperm production, then females will benefit from polyandry as it incites sperm competition and, consequently, minimizes the mutational load in the offspring. We tested this hypothesis in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a species characterized by polyandry and intense sperm competition, by investigating whether age affects post-copulatory male traits and sperm competition success. Females did not discriminate between old and young males in a mate choice experiment. While old males produced longer and slower sperm with larger reserves of strippable sperm, compared to young males, artificial insemination did not reveal any effect of age on sperm competition success. Altogether, these results do not support the hypothesis that polyandry evolved in response to costs associated with mating with old males in the guppy.

  15. Phenotypic engineering of sperm-production rate confirms evolutionary predictions of sperm competition theory

    PubMed Central

    Sekii, Kiyono; Vizoso, Dita B.; Kuales, Georg; De Mulder, Katrien; Ladurner, Peter; Schärer, Lukas

    2013-01-01

    Sperm production is a key male reproductive trait and an important parameter in sperm competition theory. Under sperm competition, paternity success is predicted to depend strongly on male allocation to sperm production. Furthermore, because sperm production is inherently costly, individuals should economize in sperm expenditure, and conditional adjustment of the copulation frequency according to their sperm availability may be expected. However, experimental studies showing effects of sperm production on mating behaviour and paternity success have so far been scarce, mainly because sperm production is difficult to manipulate directly in animals. Here, we used phenotypic engineering to manipulate sperm-production rate, by employing dose-dependent RNA interference (RNAi) of a spermatogenesis-specific gene, macbol1, in the free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano. We demonstrate (i) that our novel dose-dependent RNAi approach allows us to induce high variability in sperm-production rate; (ii) that a reduced sperm-production rate is associated with a decreased copulation frequency, suggesting conditional adjustment of mating behaviour; and (iii) that both sperm production and copulation frequency are important determinants of paternity success in a competitive situation, as predicted by sperm competition theory. Our study clearly documents the potential of phenotypic engineering via dose-dependent RNAi to test quantitative predictions of evolutionary theory. PMID:23446521

  16. Sperm competition promotes diversity of sperm bundles in Ohomopterus ground beetles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takami, Yasuoki; Sota, Teiji

    2007-07-01

    Diversification of sperm morphology has been investigated in the context of sperm competition, but the adaptive significance of sperm bundles is still unclear. In analyzing 10 taxa of the genus Carabus subgenus Ohomopterus and one related Carabus ground beetles, we found that dimorphic sperm bundles occurred in most species with varied degrees of bimodality, whereas sperm were generally monomorphic. Comparative analyses with phylogenetically independent contrasts revealed that the sizes of large and small sperm bundles evolved more rapidly than, and were not correlated with, the length of sperm, suggesting more intense selection on sperm bundle sizes and their independent responses to different evolutionary forces. The size of large sperm bundles was positively correlated with male genital morphology (pertinent to displacement of rival spermatophores) and postcopulatory guarding duration as well as male body length, suggesting that larger sperm bundles have been favored when the risk of spermatophore displacement is high. Larger sperm bundles may be advantageous because of their ability to migrate more rapidly into the spermatheca. In contrast, no clear association was detected between the small sperm bundle size and mating traits despite its rapid diversification. The present study provides the first record of heteromorphic sperm bundles, the diversity of which may be promoted by sperm competition.

  17. Sperm competition promotes diversity of sperm bundles in Ohomopterus ground beetles.

    PubMed

    Takami, Yasuoki; Sota, Teiji

    2007-07-01

    Diversification of sperm morphology has been investigated in the context of sperm competition, but the adaptive significance of sperm bundles is still unclear. In analyzing 10 taxa of the genus Carabus subgenus Ohomopterus and one related Carabus ground beetles, we found that dimorphic sperm bundles occurred in most species with varied degrees of bimodality, whereas sperm were generally monomorphic. Comparative analyses with phylogenetically independent contrasts revealed that the sizes of large and small sperm bundles evolved more rapidly than, and were not correlated with, the length of sperm, suggesting more intense selection on sperm bundle sizes and their independent responses to different evolutionary forces. The size of large sperm bundles was positively correlated with male genital morphology (pertinent to displacement of rival spermatophores) and postcopulatory guarding duration as well as male body length, suggesting that larger sperm bundles have been favored when the risk of spermatophore displacement is high. Larger sperm bundles may be advantageous because of their ability to migrate more rapidly into the spermatheca. In contrast, no clear association was detected between the small sperm bundle size and mating traits despite its rapid diversification. The present study provides the first record of heteromorphic sperm bundles, the diversity of which may be promoted by sperm competition.

  18. Why small males have big sperm: dimorphic squid sperm linked to alternative mating behaviours

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Sperm cells are the target of strong sexual selection that may drive changes in sperm structure and function to maximize fertilisation success. Sperm evolution is regarded to be one of the major consequences of sperm competition in polyandrous species, however it can also be driven by adaptation to the environmental conditions at the site of fertilization. Strong stabilizing selection limits intra-specific variation, and therefore polymorphism, among fertile sperm (eusperm). Here we analyzed reproductive morphology differences among males employing characteristic alternative mating behaviours, and so potentially different conditions of sperm competition and fertilization environment, in the squid Loligo bleekeri. Results Large consort males transfer smaller (average total length = 73 μm) sperm to a female's internal sperm storage location, inside the oviduct; whereas small sneaker males transfer larger (99 μm) sperm to an external location around the seminal receptacle near the mouth. No significant difference in swimming speed was observed between consort and sneaker sperm. Furthermore, sperm precedence in the seminal receptacle was not biased toward longer sperm, suggesting no evidence for large sperm being favoured in competition for space in the sperm storage organ among sneaker males. Conclusions Here we report the first case, in the squid Loligo bleekeri, where distinctly dimorphic eusperm are produced by different sized males that employ alternative mating behaviours. Our results found no evidence that the distinct sperm dimorphism was driven by between- and within-tactic sperm competition. We propose that presence of alternative fertilization environments with distinct characteristics (i.e. internal or external), whether or not in combination with the effects of sperm competition, can drive the disruptive evolution of sperm size. PMID:21831296

  19. Pregnancy rates in cattle with cryopreserved sexed sperm: effects of sperm numbers per inseminate and site of sperm deposition.

    PubMed

    Seidel, G E; Schenk, J L

    2008-04-01

    In six field trials, doses between 1.0 and 6.0 x 10(6) total sexed, frozen-thawed sperm were inseminated into the uterine body or bilaterally into the uterine horns of heifers and nursing Angus cows 12 or 24h after observed estrus. Except for one comparison in one trial in which uterine body insemination was slightly superior (P<0.05) to uterine horn insemination, there was no significant (P>0.1) difference between sites of semen deposition. Additionally, except for one small study with limited numbers, there was essentially no difference in pregnancy rates in the range between 1.5 and 6 x 10(6) sexed, frozen-thawed sperm per inseminate. Pregnancy rates with smaller doses of sexed sperm averaged about 75% of controls of 20 x 10(6) total frozen-thawed, unsexed sperm. While 1.0 x 10(6) sexed, frozen-thawed sperm per insemination dose resulted in decreased pregnancy rates compared to larger doses, the lesser fertility with sexed sperm could not be compensated by increasing sperm numbers in the range of 1.5-6 x 10(6) sperm per dose. Pregnancy rates with 2 x 10(6) sexed, frozen-thawed sperm per dose were not markedly less than control pregnancy rates with 20 x 10(6) frozen-thawed unsexed sperm/dose in well-managed herds.

  20. Heterologous in vitro fertilization and sperm capacitation in an endangered African antelope, the scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah).

    PubMed

    Roth, T L; Weiss, R B; Buff, J L; Bush, L M; Wildt, D E; Bush, M

    1998-02-01

    Scimitar-horned oryx sperm function was studied using protocols developed for domestic cattle. Objectives were to assess sperm 1) viability and motility in vitro over time, 2) capacitation in heparin- or calcium-supplemented medium, and 3) function in an in vitro fertilization system using heterologous (domestic cow) oocytes. Seminal aliquots were washed, and sperm were resuspended in 1) Talp with 5% fetal calf serum (TALP), 2) TALP + 10 microM heparin, 3) TALP + 20 microM heparin, and 4) TALP + 10 mM CaCl. At 0, 3, and 6 h, aliquots were evaluated for sperm motility, viability (using Hoechst 33258), and ability to acrosome-react when exposed to lysophosphatidylcholine (LC). Sperm function was assessed by evaluating fertilization and embryo development after coculture of in vitro-matured domestic cow oocytes with oryx sperm. Overall mean percentages of motile and viable sperm remained high at 6 h (> 60% and > 70%, respectively). Fewer (p < 0.05) sperm incubated in TALP + 10 microM heparin for 6 h contained intact acrosomes after exposure to LC, but there were no differences between LC and control samples after incubation in TALP without heparin. LC-treated sperm in TALP + 10 mM CaCl contained fewer (p < 0.05) intact acrosomes at 3 and 6 h (52.6% and 31.2%, respectively) than paired controls (83.6% and 70.0%, respectively). Oryx sperm from all males were capable of fertilizing cow oocytes (range 17 of 26 [65.4%] to 25 of 26 [96.2%]). Of the 55 2-cell embryos produced, 34 (61.8%) developed to > or = 8 cells. Of the 24 uncleaved oocytes, 7 (29.2%) were polyspermic. These data demonstrate that processed sperm from the endangered scimitar-horned oryx remain vigorous in vitro for at least 6 h. Capacitation can be induced using cattle sperm-processing techniques, with sperm appearing most responsive to elevated CaCl concentrations. Most interesting was the successful production and development of hybrid embryos after coincubation of oryx sperm with cow oocytes, suggesting

  1. Stallion Sperm Transcriptome Comprises Functionally Coherent Coding and Regulatory RNAs as Revealed by Microarray Analysis and RNA-seq

    PubMed Central

    Das, Pranab J.; McCarthy, Fiona; Vishnoi, Monika; Paria, Nandina; Gresham, Cathy; Li, Gang; Kachroo, Priyanka; Sudderth, A. Kendrick; Teague, Sheila; Love, Charles C.; Varner, Dickson D.; Chowdhary, Bhanu P.; Raudsepp, Terje

    2013-01-01

    Mature mammalian sperm contain a complex population of RNAs some of which might regulate spermatogenesis while others probably play a role in fertilization and early development. Due to this limited knowledge, the biological functions of sperm RNAs remain enigmatic. Here we report the first characterization of the global transcriptome of the sperm of fertile stallions. The findings improved understanding of the biological significance of sperm RNAs which in turn will allow the discovery of sperm-based biomarkers for stallion fertility. The stallion sperm transcriptome was interrogated by analyzing sperm and testes RNA on a 21,000-element equine whole-genome oligoarray and by RNA-seq. Microarray analysis revealed 6,761 transcripts in the sperm, of which 165 were sperm-enriched, and 155 were differentially expressed between the sperm and testes. Next, 70 million raw reads were generated by RNA-seq of which 50% could be aligned with the horse reference genome. A total of 19,257 sequence tags were mapped to all horse chromosomes and the mitochondrial genome. The highest density of mapped transcripts was in gene-rich ECA11, 12 and 13, and the lowest in gene-poor ECA9 and X; 7 gene transcripts originated from ECAY. Structural annotation aligned sperm transcripts with 4,504 known horse and/or human genes, rRNAs and 82 miRNAs, whereas 13,354 sequence tags remained anonymous. The data were aligned with selected equine gene models to identify additional exons and splice variants. Gene Ontology annotations showed that sperm transcripts were associated with molecular processes (chemoattractant-activated signal transduction, ion transport) and cellular components (membranes and vesicles) related to known sperm functions at fertilization, while some messenger and micro RNAs might be critical for early development. The findings suggest that the rich repertoire of coding and non-coding RNAs in stallion sperm is not a random remnant from spermatogenesis in testes but a selectively

  2. Lack of calcium oscillation causes failure of oocyte activation after intracytoplasmic sperm injection in pigs

    PubMed Central

    NAKAI, Michiko; ITO, Junya; SUZUKI, Shun-ichi; FUCHIMOTO, Dai-ichiro; SEMBON, Shoichiro; SUZUKI, Misae; NOGUCHI, Junko; KANEKO, Hiroyuki; ONISHI, Akira; KASHIWAZAKI, Naomi; KIKUCHI, Kazuhiro

    2016-01-01

    In pigs, the efficiency of embryo production after intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is still low because of frequent failure of normal fertilization, which involves formation of two polar bodies and two pronuclei. To clarify the reasons for this, we hypothesized that ICSI does not properly trigger sperm-induced fertilization events, especially intracellular Ca2+ signaling, also known as Ca2+ oscillation. We also suspected that the use of in vitro-matured oocytes might negatively affect fertilization events and embryonic development of sperm-injected oocytes. Therefore, we compared the patterns of Ca2+ oscillation, the efficiency of oocyte activation and normal fertilization, and embryo development to the blastocyst stage among in vivo- or in vitro-matured oocytes after ICSI or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Unexpectedly, we found that the pattern of Ca2+ oscillation, such as the frequency and amplitude of Ca2+ rises, in oocytes after ICSI was similar to that in oocytes after IVF, irrespective of the oocyte source. However, half of the oocytes failed to become activated after ICSI and showed no Ca2+ oscillation. Moreover, the embryonic development of normal fertilized oocytes was reduced when in vitro-matured oocytes were used, irrespective of the fertilization method employed. These findings suggest that low embryo production efficiency after ICSI is attributable mainly to poor developmental ability of in vitro-matured oocytes and a lack of Ca2+ oscillation, rather than the pattern of oscillation. PMID:27725347

  3. Morphology and function of the reproductive tract of the spider crab Libinia spinosa (Crustacea, Brachyura, Majoidea): pattern of sperm storage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sal Moyano, M. P.; Gavio, M. A.; Cuartas, E. I.

    2010-09-01

    Morphology and function of the male reproductive tract, female spermatheca and patterns of sperm storage were assessed in the crab Libinia spinosa using histological methods. Testes are characterized by the presence of peripheral spermatogonia and different sequences of sperm maturity. Spermatophores begin to be packed in the last portion. The vas deferens consists of three sections: anterior, with undeveloped spermatophores and free sperm; median, with well-developed spermatophores; and posterior with granular secretions. Female spermathecae are of the ventral type, with a velum separating dorsal and ventral chambers. Live individuals were kept in the laboratory and arranged in pairs. An experiment was conducted toward the end of the reproductive season, in which males with the right gonopod excised were placed with receptive females. After mating, females were killed and the spermathecae dissected for histological study and observation of the pattern of sperm storage. Spermatozoa were found forming discrete sperm packages. New ejaculates can fill the entire spermatheca or be restricted to the ventral chamber; sperm are rounded, with a distinguishable acrosomal core. Old ejaculates are restricted to the dorsal chamber and are of irregular shape and larger size; an acrosomal core was not distinguishable. The secretions produced by the glandular epithelium of the dorsal chamber of the spermathecae are likely to have a role in the removal of dead sperm.

  4. Efficacy of testicular sperm chromatin condensation assay using aniline blue-eosin staining in the IVF-ET cycle.

    PubMed

    Park, Yong-Seog; Kim, Myo Kyung; Lee, Sun-Hee; Cho, Jae Won; Song, In Ok; Seo, Ju Tae

    2011-09-01

    This study was performed to evaluate testicular sperm chromatin condensation using aniline blue-eosin (AB-E) staining and its effects on IVF-ET. Chromatin condensation was analyzed using AB-E staining in 27 cases of testicular sperm extraction. There were 19 cases of obstructive azoospermia (OA) and 8 cases of non-obstructive azoospermia (NOA) in IVF-ET. Mature sperm heads were stained red-pink whereas immature sperm heads were stained dark blue. The percentage of sperm chromatin condensation was calculated from the ratio of the number of red-pink sperm to the total number of sperm analyzed. The overall percentages of chromatin condensation in OA and NOA were 31.1±11.2% and 26.3±14.4%, respectively. The fertilization rate was significant higher in OA than NOA (p<0.05); however, the rates of good embryos and clinical pregnancy did not show statistical differences. In OA and NOA, statistical differences were not observed in the rate of chromatin condensation, fertilization, good embryos, and clinical pregnancy between the pregnant group and non-pregnant group. Chromatin condensation is less stable than OA and showed a low fertilization rate in NOA. While there were no significant differences in chromatin condensation results between NOA and OA, we propose that a pattern of decreased chromatin condensation in NOA is one of the factors of low fertilization results requiring further study.

  5. Testis structure, spermatogenesis, spermatocytogenesis, and sperm structure in cardinal fish (Apogonidae, Perciformes).

    PubMed

    Fishelson, Lev; Delarea, Yacob; Gon, Ofer

    2006-01-01

    The testes in all 16 of the studied cardinal fish species are shown to be bilobed, with spermatogonia dispersed throughout the gametogenic epithelium of the seminiferous tubules. Each testicular lobe is covered luminally by an epithelium consisting of primary germ cells and Sertoli cells. At maturation the seminiferous tubules reach around 0.6-2.3 mm in length. They number from 60 in the smallest species to over 300 in the largest one, increasing both in dimension and number with increase in length of the male, and are species-specific. The highest number of spermatogonia is found at the apical ends of the tubules. During maturation extensions of Sertoli cells surround single or small groups of B-spermatogonia, forming the spermatocysts, the final dimensions of which reflect the final number of contained spermatozoids. Back-calculations of serial sections reveal that within the spermatocysts the spermatogonia undergo eight generations of mitotic divisions before the first and second meiotic divisions and formation of spermatids. The largest mature spermatocysts in large species attain around 180 microm in diameter, a volume of 25 mm(3), and contain around 8,200 spermatids. The total volume of sperm in the mature spermatocysts leaves enough space for the discarded cytoplasm and developing flagella. The bursting cysts liberate the ripe sperm and maturing spermatids, into the tubule lumen and spermduct, with the spermatids often still connected by cytoplasm bridges. The sperm, with one or two flagella, features round or oval heads and a cytoplasmic collar bearing a few mitochondria. The percentage of biflagellate or monoflagellate sperm differs in proportion in males of different lengths and in different species. Differences in spermatogenesis of small and larger species of cardinal fish are discussed.

  6. Comparison of DNA Fragmentation Assay in Frozen-Thawed Cat Epididymal Sperm.

    PubMed

    Kunkitti, P; Sjödahl, A; Bergqvist, A-S; Johannisson, A; Axnér, E

    2016-08-01

    DNA fragmentation of frozen-thawed feline epididymal sperm from corpus and cauda regions was evaluated by three different techniques. The DNA fragmentation index (DFI) was compared between techniques: the sperm chromatin structural assay (SCSA(®) ), acridine orange staining techniques (AOT) and the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD). There were significant differences in DFI among the techniques (p < 0.05) with no correlations. Only DFI values obtained from SCD revealed a significantly higher DFI in corpus compared with cauda spermatozoa (p < 0.05). The discrepancy between techniques might be due to the sensitivity of each technique, differences in severity of DNA damaged that can be detected. The difference in DFI between epididymal regions from SCD technique might indicate different maturational stages of spermatozoa, with less chromatin condensation of spermatozoa in corpus compared with cauda epididymis. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  7. Phagocytosis of sperm by follicle cells of the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma occidentalis (Porifera, Demospongiae).

    PubMed

    Riesgo, Ana

    2010-06-01

    During spermatogenesis of the carnivorous sponge Asbestopluma occidentalis, follicle cells that lined the spermatocysts phagocytosed unreleased mature sperm. Such follicle cells are part of the complex envelope that limits spermatocysts of A. occidentalis, which is also comprised of a collagen layer, a thick layer of intertwined cells, and spicules. Follicle cells showed vesicles containing single phagocytosed spermatozoa within their cytoplasm. Additionally, lipids and other inclusions were observed within the cytoplasm of follicle cells. It is likely that follicle cells recapture nutrients by phagocytosing spermatozoa and use them to form lipids and other inclusions. Such sperm phagocytosis is usually performed in higher invertebrates and vertebrates by Sertoli cells that are located in the testis wall. While Sertoli cells develop a wide range of functions such as creating a blood-testis barrier, providing crucial factors to ensure correct progression of spermatogenesis, and phagocytosis of aberrant, degenerating, and unreleased sperm cells, sponge follicle cells may only display phagocytotic activity on spermatogenic cells.

  8. Impact of glycosylation on the unimpaired functions of the sperm.

    PubMed

    Cheon, Yong-Pil; Kim, Chung-Hoon

    2015-09-01

    One of the key factors of early development is the specification of competence between the oocyte and the sperm, which occurs during gametogenesis. However, the starting point, growth, and maturation for acquiring competence during spermatogenesis and oogenesis in mammals are very different. Spermatogenesis includes spermiogenesis, but such a metamorphosis is not observed during oogenesis. Glycosylation, a ubiquitous modification, is a preliminary requisite for distribution of the structural and functional components of spermatids for metamorphosis. In addition, glycosylation using epididymal or female genital secretory glycans is an important process for the sperm maturation, the acquisition of the potential for fertilization, and the acceleration of early embryo development. However, nonemzymatic unexpected covalent bonding of a carbohydrate and malglycosylation can result in falling fertility rates as shown in the diabetic male. So far, glycosylation during spermatogenesis and the dynamics of the plasma membrane in the process of capacitation and fertilization have been evaluated, and a powerful role of glycosylation in spermatogenesis and early development is also suggested by structural bioinformatics, functional genomics, and functional proteomics. Further understanding of glycosylation is needed to provide a better understanding of fertilization and embryo development and for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for infertility.

  9. Impact of glycosylation on the unimpaired functions of the sperm

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    One of the key factors of early development is the specification of competence between the oocyte and the sperm, which occurs during gametogenesis. However, the starting point, growth, and maturation for acquiring competence during spermatogenesis and oogenesis in mammals are very different. Spermatogenesis includes spermiogenesis, but such a metamorphosis is not observed during oogenesis. Glycosylation, a ubiquitous modification, is a preliminary requisite for distribution of the structural and functional components of spermatids for metamorphosis. In addition, glycosylation using epididymal or female genital secretory glycans is an important process for the sperm maturation, the acquisition of the potential for fertilization, and the acceleration of early embryo development. However, nonemzymatic unexpected covalent bonding of a carbohydrate and malglycosylation can result in falling fertility rates as shown in the diabetic male. So far, glycosylation during spermatogenesis and the dynamics of the plasma membrane in the process of capacitation and fertilization have been evaluated, and a powerful role of glycosylation in spermatogenesis and early development is also suggested by structural bioinformatics, functional genomics, and functional proteomics. Further understanding of glycosylation is needed to provide a better understanding of fertilization and embryo development and for the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic tools for infertility. PMID:26473106

  10. Improvement of the post-thaw qualities of Okinawan native Agu pig sperm frozen in an extender supplemented with antiapoptotic PTD-FNK protein.

    PubMed

    Shimokawa, Kazuki; Oshiro, Ryuko; Yamanaka, Kenichi; Ashizawa, Koji; Ohta, Shigeo; Tatemoto, Hideki

    2012-10-15

    The technical establishment of boar sperm cryopreservation is indispensable for effective breeding of the scarce Okinawan native Agu pig. The objective was to determine whether an artificial anticell death protein (PTD-FNK protein) was capable of improving the quality of cryopreserved Agu sperm. Ejaculated Agu sperm frozen in an extender supplemented with 0, 100, 200, 300, or 400 nm PTD-FNK protein was thawed, and mitochondrial integrity and other sperm characteristics were evaluated. Treatment with 300 nm PTD-FNK protein had the most beneficial effect (P < 0.05) on mitochondrial integrity (45-59%) and sperm motility (56-67%) after freezing-thawing. In particular, the proportion of post-thaw sperm with activated caspase-9 and -3 but not caspase-8 was markedly reduced among sperm frozen in the presence of PTD-FNK protein (P < 0.05), implying protection against apoptotic-cell death in response to mitochondrial damage. There were high levels of intracellular ATP (9.4-10.5 nmol/10(8) sperm) in post-thaw sperm treated with PTD-FNK protein, and the inhibitory effect of PTD-FNK protein on activation of caspases influenced the increase in the number of sperm with intact DNA (36-53%; P < 0.05). Furthermore, the addition of PTD-FNK protein to the freezing extender strongly preserved the ability of the sperm to penetrate to mature oocytes in all individuals (60-80%; P < 0.05). In conclusion, treatment with PTD-FNK protein in the freezing extender effectively improved post-thaw qualities of fragile Agu sperm through prevention of mitochondrial dysfunction leading to apoptotic-cell death during cryopreservation.

  11. Laser radiation and motility patterns of human sperm

    SciTech Connect

    Lenzi, A.; Claroni, F.; Gandini, L.; Lombardo, F.; Barbieri, C.; Lino, A.; Dondero, F. )

    1989-01-01

    Human sperm were exposed in vitro to laser radiation. An increase in progressive sperm motility was associated with a faster rate of sperm ATP consumption. Computer-assisted analysis of sperm motility confirmed the positive effect of laser irradiation on velocity and linearity of sperm.

  12. The bull sperm microRNAome and the effect of fescue toxicosis on sperm microRNA expression.

    PubMed

    Stowe, Heather M; Calcatera, Samantha M; Dimmick, Marcy A; Andrae, John G; Duckett, Susan K; Pratt, Scott L

    2014-01-01

    Tall fescue [Schedonorus phoenix (Scop.) Holub] accounts for nearly 16 million hectares of pasture in the Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. due to its heat, drought, and pest resistance, conferred to the plant by its symbiotic relationship with the endophyte Neotyphodium coenophialum. The endophyte produces ergot alkaloids that have negative effects on the growth and reproduction of animals, resulting in the syndrome known as fescue toxicosis. The objectives of our study were to identify microRNA (miRNA) present in bovine sperm and to evaluate the effects of fescue toxicosis on sperm miRNA expression. Angus bulls were assigned to treatments of either toxic or non-toxic fescue seed diets. Semen was collected and subjected to RNA isolation. Three samples from each treatment group were chosen and pooled for deep sequencing. To compare miRNA expression between treatment groups, a microarray was designed and conducted. For each of the top ten expressed miRNA, target prediction analysis was conducted using TargetScan. Gene ontology enrichment was assessed using the Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery. Sequencing results elucidated the presence of 1,582 unique small RNA present in sperm. Of those sequences, 382 were known Bos taurus miRNA, 22 were known but novel to Bos taurus, and 816 were predicted candidate miRNA that did not map to any currently reported miRNA. Of the sequences chosen for microarray, twenty-two showed significant differential expression between treatment groups. Gene pathways of interest included: regulation of transcription, embryonic development (including blastocyst formation), Wnt and Hedgehog signaling, oocyte meiosis, and kinase and phosphatase activity. MicroRNA present in mature sperm appears to not only be left over from spermatogenic processes, but may actually serve important regulatory roles in fertilization and early developmental processes. Further, our results indicate the possibility that environmental

  13. Convergent evolution of sperm gigantism and the developmental origins of sperm size variability in Caenorhabditis nematodes.

    PubMed

    Vielle, Anne; Callemeyn-Torre, Nicolas; Gimond, Clotilde; Poullet, Nausicaa; Gray, Jeremy C; Cutter, Asher D; Braendle, Christian

    2016-11-01

    Sperm cells provide essential, if usually diminutive, ingredients to successful sexual reproduction. Despite this conserved function, sperm competition and coevolution with female traits can drive spectacular morphological change in these cells. Here, we characterize four repeated instances of convergent evolution of sperm gigantism in Caenorhabditis nematodes using phylogenetic comparative methods on 26 species. Species at the extreme end of the 50-fold range of sperm-cell volumes across the genus have sperm capable of comprising up to 5% of egg-cell volume, representing severe attenuation of the magnitude of anisogamy. Furthermore, we uncover significant differences in mean and variance of sperm size among genotypes, between sexes, and within and between individuals of identical genotypes. We demonstrate that the developmental basis of sperm size variation, both within and between species, becomes established during an early stage of sperm development at the formation of primary spermatocytes, while subsequent meiotic divisions contribute little further sperm size variability. These findings provide first insights into the developmental determinants of inter- and intraspecific sperm size differences in Caenorhabditis. We hypothesize that life history and ecological differences among species favored the evolution of alternative sperm competition strategies toward either many smaller sperm or fewer larger sperm. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  14. Ficoll-400 density gradient method as an effective sperm preparation technique for assisted reproductive techniques

    PubMed Central

    Highland, Hyacinth N.; Rishika, A. Sharma; Almira, S. Shaikh; Kanthi, P. Bansal

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Infertility being a burning issue, the male itself contributes about 40% as a cause, as evident by statistical data. However, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has emerged as a powerful tool in the management of infertility. Sperm preparation techniques govern the selection procedure to separate functional spermatozoa which can then be used in IUI, IVF, and ART and for cryopreservation. AIM: The present study was aimed at evaluation of sperm preparation techniques for reliability, performance and to determine the most effective, feasible and economical technique. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The subjects under study includes males with normal proven fertility (n=40) and the males with unexplained infertility (n=40). Four sperm separation techniques, viz., Swim-up, Swim-down, Sucrose and Ficoll-400 density gradient techniques were evaluated for their efficacy in separation of good quality fraction of spermatozoa. Sperm viability, morphology and maturation status of spermatozoa were taken as evaluation parameters following the standard methods (WHO 2010). STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Data was analyzed using student's t-test and the four selected techniques were compared with the normal semen samples for scoring the efficiency of the techniques. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Out of the several techniques used, Ficoll-400 was found to be more efficient method for separation of spermatozoa. The percentage of change in each parameter was calculated and taken as the index for recovery of potent sperm from the original sperm. Ficoll-400 density gradient yielded higher percentage of live, mature, morphologically normal spermatozoa in an isolated fraction as compared to other three techniques. CONCLUSION: It was observed that a combination of Ficoll-400 gradient separation with Swim-up technique could give quality spermatozoa which in-turn would directly have an impact on the success of IVF and other ART techniques. PMID:27803588

  15. The reproductive system of Osedax (Annelida, Siboglinidae): ovary structure, sperm ultrastructure, and fertilization mode

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Sigrid; Rouse, Greg W

    2013-01-01

    Osedax is a genus of siboglinid annelids in which the females live on dead vertebrate bones on the seafloor. These females have a posterior end that lies within the bone and contains the ovarian tissue, as well as the “roots” involved with bone degradation and nutrition. The males are microscopic and live as “harems” in the lumen of the gelatinous tube that surrounds the female trunk, well away from the ovary. Females are known to spawn fertilized primary oocytes, suggesting internal fertilization. However, little is known about sperm transfer, sperm storage, or the location of fertilization, and the morphology of the female reproductive system has not been described and compared with the reproductive systems of other siboglinids. A 3D-reconstruction of the ovisac of Osedax showed ovarian tissue with multiple lobes and mature oocytes stored in a “uterus” before being released through the single oviduct. The oviduct emerges as a gonopore on the trunk and travels along the trunk to finally open to the seawater as a thin cylindrical tube among the crown of palps. Light and transmission electron microscopy of mature Osedax sperm revealed elongate heads consisting of a nucleus with helical grooves occupied by mitochondria. In contrast to other Siboglinidae, Osedax sperm are not packaged into spermatophores or spermatozeugmata, and Osedax females lack a discrete region for sperm storage. Transmission electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy allowed detection of sperm associated with ovarian tissue of the female ovisac of four different Osedax species. This provides the first evidence for the site of internal fertilization in Osedax. A heart body was found in the circulatory system, as seen in other siboglinids and some other annelids. The possible presence of nephridia in the anterior ovisac region was also documented. These morphological features provide new insights for comparing the regionalization of Osedax females in relation to other siboglinids

  16. Ficoll-400 density gradient method as an effective sperm preparation technique for assisted reproductive techniques.

    PubMed

    Highland, Hyacinth N; Rishika, A Sharma; Almira, S Shaikh; Kanthi, P Bansal

    2016-01-01

    Infertility being a burning issue, the male itself contributes about 40% as a cause, as evident by statistical data. However, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has emerged as a powerful tool in the management of infertility. Sperm preparation techniques govern the selection procedure to separate functional spermatozoa which can then be used in IUI, IVF, and ART and for cryopreservation. The present study was aimed at evaluation of sperm preparation techniques for reliability, performance and to determine the most effective, feasible and economical technique. The subjects under study includes males with normal proven fertility (n=40) and the males with unexplained infertility (n=40). Four sperm separation techniques, viz., Swim-up, Swim-down, Sucrose and Ficoll-400 density gradient techniques were evaluated for their efficacy in separation of good quality fraction of spermatozoa. Sperm viability, morphology and maturation status of spermatozoa were taken as evaluation parameters following the standard methods (WHO 2010). Data was analyzed using student's t-test and the four selected techniques were compared with the normal semen samples for scoring the efficiency of the techniques. Out of the several techniques used, Ficoll-400 was found to be more efficient method for separation of spermatozoa. The percentage of change in each parameter was calculated and taken as the index for recovery of potent sperm from the original sperm. Ficoll-400 density gradient yielded higher percentage of live, mature, morphologically normal spermatozoa in an isolated fraction as compared to other three techniques. It was observed that a combination of Ficoll-400 gradient separation with Swim-up technique could give quality spermatozoa which in-turn would directly have an impact on the success of IVF and other ART techniques.

  17. Variability in sperm form and function in the context of sperm competition risk in two Tupinambis lizards

    PubMed Central

    Blengini, Cecilia S; Sergio, Naretto; Gabriela, Cardozo; Giojalas, Laura C; Margarita, Chiaraviglio

    2014-01-01

    In polyandrous species, sperm morphometry and sperm velocity are under strong sexual selection. Although several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the role of sperm competition in sperm trait variation, this aspect is still poorly understood. It has been suggested that an increase in sperm competition pressure could reduce sperm size variation or produce a diversity of sperm to maximize male fertilization success. We aim at elucidating the variability of sperm morphometric traits and velocity in two Tupinambis lizards in the context of sperm competition risk. Sperm traits showed substantial variation at all levels examined: between species, among males within species, and within the ejaculate of individual males. Sperm velocity was found to be positively correlated with flagellum: midpiece ratio, with relatively longer flagella associated with faster sperm. Our results document high variability in sperm form and function in lizards. PMID:25505535

  18. Variability in sperm form and function in the context of sperm competition risk in two Tupinambis lizards.

    PubMed

    Blengini, Cecilia S; Sergio, Naretto; Gabriela, Cardozo; Giojalas, Laura C; Margarita, Chiaraviglio

    2014-11-01

    In polyandrous species, sperm morphometry and sperm velocity are under strong sexual selection. Although several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the role of sperm competition in sperm trait variation, this aspect is still poorly understood. It has been suggested that an increase in sperm competition pressure could reduce sperm size variation or produce a diversity of sperm to maximize male fertilization success. We aim at elucidating the variability of sperm morphometric traits and velocity in two Tupinambis lizards in the context of sperm competition risk. Sperm traits showed substantial variation at all levels examined: between species, among males within species, and within the ejaculate of individual males. Sperm velocity was found to be positively correlated with flagellum: midpiece ratio, with relatively longer flagella associated with faster sperm. Our results document high variability in sperm form and function in lizards.

  19. Spermatozoa epididymal maturation in the Mexican big-eared bat (Corynorhinus mexicanus).

    PubMed

    Cervantes, Maria Isabel; Arenas-Rios, Edith; León-Galván, Miguel Angel; López-Wilchis, Ricardo; Ambriz, Demetrio; Rosado, Adolfo

    2008-01-01

    Prolonged epididymal sperm storage in vespertilionid and rhinolophid bats, provides an interesting experimental model for the study of spermatozoa epididymal maturation. We examined the presence of the cytoplasmic droplet, and the sequential induction of capacitation and the acrosome reaction in spermatozoa obtained from different epididymal regions (caput, corpus, cauda) throughout the annual reproductive cycle of Corynorhinus mexicanus (C. mexicanus). This is a vespertilionid bat that stores spermatozoa in the epididymis for several months after testes regression. The number of sperm recovered from the different epididymal regions indicate that epididymal transit in C. mexicanus is rapid. The persistence of a high percentage of sperm cells with cytoplasmic droplet in cauda epididymis was observed in addition to a low index of capacitation and acrosome reaction in sperm cells obtained from the corpus epididymis. There was a significant increase in the percentage of capacitated and acrosome reacted spermatozoa during the storage of sperm cells in the cauda epididymis and the percentage of capacitated spermatozoa was consistently, and significantly, higher (p < 0.05) in cauda compared to the corpus epididymis at all studied dates. The process of epididymal maturation in C. mexicanus is completed in the caudal region of this organ encompassing a significant period. Our results also indicate that in C. mexicanus, and in other vespertilionid and rhinolophid bats that show the same temporal asynchrony in the function of male reproductive organs, the final phases of epididymal maturation and storage are, apparently, independent of testicular function.

  20. No evidence of trade-offs in the evolution of sperm numbers and sperm size in mammals.

    PubMed

    Tourmente, M; Delbarco Trillo, J; Roldan, E R S

    2015-10-01

    Post-copulatory sexual selection, in the form sperm competition, has influenced the evolution of several male reproductive traits. However, theory predicts that sperm competition would lead to trade-offs between numbers and size of spermatozoa because increased costs per cell would result in a reduction of sperm number if both traits share the same energetic budget. Theoretical models have proposed that, in large animals, increased sperm size would have minimal fitness advantage compared with increased sperm numbers. Thus, sperm numbers would evolve more rapidly than sperm size under sperm competition pressure. We tested in mammals whether sperm competition maximizes sperm numbers and size, and whether there is a trade-off between these traits. Our results showed that sperm competition maximizes sperm numbers in eutherian and metatherian mammals. There was no evidence of a trade-off between sperm numbers and sperm size in any of the two mammalian clades as we did not observe any significant relationship between sperm numbers and sperm size once the effect of sperm competition was taken into account. Maximization of both numbers and size in mammals may occur because each trait is crucial at different stages in sperm's life; for example size-determined sperm velocity is a key determinant of fertilization success. In addition, numbers and size may also be influenced by diverse energetic budgets required at different stages of sperm formation. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  1. Protective effects of ethyl pyruvate on sperm quality in cyclophosphamide treated mice

    PubMed Central

    Bakhtiary, Zahra; Shahrooz, Rasoul; Ahmadi, Abbas; Zarei, Leila

    2015-01-01

    Background: One of the affecting factors in disturbance process of spermatogenesis is chemotherapeutic-induced oxidative stress resulted from cyclophosphamide (CP) treatment which leads to diminished sperm quality via interference in spermatogenesis process. Objective: This study was conducted to investigate the effects of ethyl pyruvate (EP) in reducing the CP-induced side effects on reproductive system. Materials and Methods: 24 mature male mice were randomly divided into 3 equal groups and were undergone therapy for 35 days. Control group received normal saline (0.1 ml/day, IP). CP group were injected CP (15 mg/kg/week, IP) and CP+EP group received EP (40 mg/kg/day, IP) as well as CP. In the end of the treatment period, the mice were euthanized by cervical dislocation. Then, the epididymis was incubated with CO2 in a human tubal fluid medium (1 ml) for half an hour in order to float sperm. Then, the number, motility, viability (eosin-nigrosin staining), DNA breakage (acridine orange staining), nucleus maturity, and sperm morphology (aniline blue staining) were analyzed. Results: The average (15.87±1.28), motility (35.77±2.75), viability (40±3.03), nucleus maturity (36±2.79) and sperm morphology (61.75±0.85) were decreased significantly in CP group in comparison with control and EP groups, whereas EP caused significant increase of these parameters. Also, the percentage of DNA damage was increased significantly in CP group (41.75±3.75) in comparison with control (2±0.71) and EP groups (22.5±4.13). Conclusion: The results of this study revealed ameliorating effects of EP on sperm quality of CP treated animals. PMID:26221128

  2. Sperm protamine-status correlates to the fertility of breeding bulls.

    PubMed

    Dogan, Sule; Vargovic, Peter; Oliveira, Rodrigo; Belser, Lauren E; Kaya, Abdullah; Moura, Arlindo; Sutovsky, Peter; Parrish, John; Topper, Einko; Memili, Erdoğan

    2015-04-01

    During fertilization, spermatozoa make essential contributions to embryo development by providing oocyte activating factors, centrosomal components, and paternal chromosomes. Protamines are essential for proper packaging of sperm DNA; however, in contrast to the studies of oocyte-related female infertility, the influence of sperm chromatin structure on male infertility has not been evaluated extensively. The objective of this study was to determine the sperm chromatin content of bull spermatozoa by evaluating DNA fragmentation, chromatin maturity/protamination, PRM1 protein status, and nuclear shape in spermatozoa from bulls with different fertility. Relationships between protamine 1 (PRM1) and the chromatin integrity were ascertained in spermatozoa from Holstein bulls with varied (high vs. low) but acceptable fertility. Sperm DNA fragmentation and chromatin maturity (protamination) were tested using Halomax assay and toluidine blue staining, respectively. The PRM1 content was assayed using Western blotting and in-gel densitometry, flow cytometry, and immunocytochemistry. Fragmentation of DNA was increased and chromatin maturity significantly reduced in spermatozoa from low-fertility bulls compared to those from high-fertility bulls. Field fertility scores of the bulls were negatively correlated with the percentage of spermatozoa displaying reduced protamination and fragmented DNA using toluidine blue and Halomax, respectively. Bull fertility was also positively correlated with PRM1 content by Western blotting and flow cytometry. However, detection of PRM1 content by Western blotting alone was not predictive of bull fertility. In immunocytochemistry, abnormal spermatozoa showed either a lack of PRM1 or scattered localization in the apical/acrosomal region of the nuclei. The nuclear shape was distorted in spermatozoa from low-fertility bulls. In conclusion, we showed that inadequate amount and localization of PRM1 were associated with defects in sperm chromatin

  3. Expression of aquaporins in the efferent ductules, sperm counts, and sperm motility in estrogen receptor-alpha deficient mice fed lab chow versus casein.

    PubMed

    Ruz, Ricardo; Gregory, Mary; Smith, Charles E; Cyr, Daniel G; Lubahn, Dennis B; Hess, Rex A; Hermo, Louis

    2006-02-01

    efferent ductule and epididymal functions when ERalpha is expressed, but inhibiting these same functions when ERalpha is missing. Taken together the data underscore the importance of estrogens and ERalpha in maintaining sperm maturation and preventing male infertility. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  4. Sperm storage and sperm competition across ovarian cycles in the dragon lizard, Ctenophorus fordi.

    PubMed

    Uller, Tobias; Schwartz, Tonia; Koglin, Troy; Olsson, Mats

    2013-08-01

    Female sperm storage can influence male reproductive success and may favour males that produce sperm that remain viable across several ovarian cycles. Here we show that sperm are viable in the female reproductive tract across ovarian cycles in the mallee dragon, Ctenophorus fordi. Based on experimental mating trials, we show that stored sperm were generally less likely to fertilize eggs than recently inseminated sperm. The fertilization success of stored sperm increased with male body size relative to rivals. This may be due to differences in ejaculate volume or sperm number transferred by males of different sizes. However, there was no evidence that copulation time, which is correlated with ejaculate volume, contributed to fertilization success. We suggest that sperm storage across ovarian cycles may be common in small, multi-clutched lizards and that its impact on selection on male phenotypes could contribute to the evolution of lizard mating systems. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Sperm competition and maternal effects differentially influence testis and sperm size in Callosobruchus maculatus.

    PubMed

    Gay, L; Hosken, D J; Vasudev, R; Tregenza, T; Eady, P E

    2009-05-01

    The evolutionary factors affecting testis size are well documented, with sperm competition being of major importance. However, the factors affecting sperm length are not well understood; there are no clear theoretical predictions and the empirical evidence is inconsistent. Recently, maternal effects have been implicated in sperm length variation, a finding that may offer insights into its evolution. We investigated potential proximate and microevolutionary factors influencing testis and sperm size in the bruchid beetle Callosobruchus maculatus using a combined approach of an artificial evolution experiment over 90 generations and an environmental effects study. We found that while polyandry seems to select for larger testes, it had no detectable effect on sperm length. Furthermore, population density, a proximate indicator of sperm competition risk, was not significantly associated with sperm length or testis size variation. However, there were strong maternal effects influencing sperm length.

  6. Mature Teachers Matter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berl, Patricia Scallan

    2005-01-01

    In this article, the author discusses the consequences of losing mature teachers due to voluntary separation or retirement and the mindset of a mature teacher that is different from younger teachers in a number of ways. Mature teachers are colleagues over 45 years of age possessing significant experience in the field. Future trends in teacher…

  7. Mature Teachers Matter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berl, Patricia Scallan

    2005-01-01

    In this article, the author discusses the consequences of losing mature teachers due to voluntary separation or retirement and the mindset of a mature teacher that is different from younger teachers in a number of ways. Mature teachers are colleagues over 45 years of age possessing significant experience in the field. Future trends in teacher…

  8. Efficient utilization of very dilute aquatic sperm: sperm competition may be more likely than sperm limitation when eggs are retained.

    PubMed Central

    Pemberton, Andrew J; Hughes, Roger N; Manríquez, Patricio H; Bishop, John D D

    2003-01-01

    Fertilization success may be severely limited in marine invertebrates that spawn both male and female gametes. In a diverse group of aquatic organisms only sperm are released, with sperm-egg fusion occurring at the mother. Here, we report fertilization kinetics data for two such 'brooding' or 'spermcast' species--representing each major clade of the animal kingdom. High levels of fertilization were achieved at sperm concentrations of two or three orders of magnitude lower than is common with broadcast spawning species. At a concentration of 100 sperm ml(-1), fertilization rates of a bryozoan and colonial ascidian were near maximum, whereas most broadcast spawners would have displayed near complete reproductive failure. A further experiment looked at the rate of uptake of sperm under natural conditions. Results suggested that sperm released at ca. 0.9 m from an acting female could be collected at a rate of 3-12 times greater than the minimum required simply to avoid sperm limitation. Thus, evolutionary pressures on gametic and other reproductive characteristics of many species that release sperm but retain eggs may be quite different from those of broadcast spawners and may confer on the former an enhanced scope for sperm competition and female choice. PMID:14667389

  9. Sperm parameters in men with suspected infertility. Sperm characteristics, strict criteria sperm morphology analysis and hypoosmotic swelling test.

    PubMed

    Andrade-Rocha, F T

    2001-06-01

    To determine the distribution of sperm abnormalities in a population of suspected infertile men presenting for the initial investigation of male factor infertility. Results obtained in the analysis of sperm viability, motility, conventional morphology (including 12 sperm anomalies), strict criteria sperm morphology analysis (SCSMA) and hypoosmotic swelling test (HOST) were compared in oligozoospermic (< 5.0, 5.1-10.0 and 10.1-20.0 x 10(6)/mL), normozoospermic (20.1-40.0, 40.1-100.0 and 100.1-250.0 x 10(6)/mL) and polyzoospermic (> 250.0 x 10(6)/mL) semen samples from 233 suspected infertile men. Percentage of sperm viability, category a and categories a plus b of sperm motility, oval-headed sperm, and normal-headed sperm according to SCSMA and HOST had a direct relationship with sperm counts (P < .001). Percentage of amorphous heads, pinheads, tapering and combined defects showed an inverse relationship with sperm counts (P < .001), whereas the percentage of large-headed sperm was highest in semen with > 40.0 x 10(6)/mL (P = .003) and of neck/midpiece defects was lowest in semen with < 10.0 x 10(6)/mL (P = .03). No significant differences were found in the percentage of small heads, double heads, round heads, partially elongated heads, cytoplasmic droplet and tail defects. Based on the cutoff points established previously for the sperm characteristics analyzed, normal values were found in semen with > 250.0 x 10(6)/mL (viability and motility), > 100.0 x 10(6)/mL (conventional morphology) and > 40.0 x 10(6)/mL (SCSMA and HOST). The incidence of defective spermatozoa is lowest in semen with the highest sperm count. However, sperm abnormalities that affect male fertility may be detected at any level of sperm density. The data indicate that an increase in any sperm abnormality should be regarded as a possible cause of decreased fertility.

  10. Sperm navigation in complex environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olson, Sarah

    2016-11-01

    Sperm can swim in a variety of environments, interacting with chemicals and other proteins in the fluid. Some of these extra proteins or cells may act as friction, possibly preventing or enhancing forward progression of swimmers. The homogenized fluid flow is assumed to be governed by the incompressible Brinkman equation, where a friction term with a resistance parameter represents a sparse array of obstacles. Representing the swimmers with a centerline approximation, we employ regularized fundamental solutions to investigate swimming speeds, trajectories, and interactions of swimmers. Asymmetric waveforms due to an increase in flagellar calcium is known to be important for sperm to reach and fertilize the egg. The trajectories of hyperactivated swimmers are found to have a decreased path curvature. Although attraction of two swimmers is more efficient in the Stokes regime, we find that attraction does not occur for larger resistance. Additionally, we study interactions of swimmers in a channel. NSF DMS 1413110.

  11. Aquaporin biology of spermatogenesis and sperm physiology in mammals and teleosts.

    PubMed

    Boj, Mónica; Chauvigné, François; Cerdà, Joan

    2015-08-01

    Fluid homeostasis is recognized as a critical factor during the development, maturation, and function of vertebrate male germ cells. These processes have been associated with the presence of multiple members of the aquaporin superfamily of water and solute channels in different cell types along the reproductive tract as well as in spermatozoa. We present a comparative analysis of the existing knowledge of aquaporin biology in the male reproductive tissues of mammals and teleosts. Current data suggest that in both vertebrate groups, aquaporins may have similar functions during differentiation of spermatozoa in the germinal epithelium, in the concentration and maturation of sperm in the testicular ducts, and in the regulation of osmotically induced volume changes in ejaculated spermatozoa. Recent studies have also provided insight into the possible function of aquaporins beyond water transport, such as in signaling pathways during spermatogenesis or the sensing of cell swelling and mitochondrial peroxide transport in activated sperm. However, an understanding of the specific physiological functions of the various aquaporins during germ cell development and sperm motility, as well as the molecular mechanisms involved, remains elusive. Novel experimental approaches need to be developed to elucidate these processes and to dissect the regulatory intracellular pathways implicated, which will greatly help to uncover the molecular basis of sperm physiology and male fertility in vertebrates.

  12. Sperm Bundles in the Seminal Vesicle of the Crematogaster victima (Smith) Adult Males (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Oliveira, C M; Moreira, J; Gomes, L F; Camargo-Mathias, M I; Lino-Neto, J

    2014-06-01

    This study establishes the presence of spermatodesm in the seminal vesicles of sexually mature males of Crematogaster victima (Smith). In this species, the spermatozoa are maintained together by an extracellular matrix in which the acrosomal regions are embedded. This characteristic has not yet been observed in any other Aculeata. However, the sperm morphology in this species is similar to that described for other ants. The spermatozoa measure on average 100 μm in length, and the number of sperm per bundle is up to 256. They are composed of a head formed by the acrosome and nucleus; this is followed by the flagellum, which is formed by the centriolar adjunct, an axoneme with a 9 + 9 + 2 microtubule pattern, two mitochondrial derivatives, and two accessory bodies. The acrosome is formed by the acrosomal vesicle and perforatorium. The nucleus is filled with compact chromatin with many areas of thick and non-compacted filaments. Both mitochondrial derivatives have the same shape and diameters. The presence of sperm bundles in sexually mature males differentiates C. victima from other ants; however, the similarities in the sperm ultrastructure support the monophyly of this insect group.

  13. Nuclear microscopy of sperm cell elemental structure

    SciTech Connect

    Bench, G.S.; Balhorn, R.; Friz, A.M.; Freeman, S.P.H.T.

    1994-09-28

    Theories suggest there is a link between protamine concentrations in individual sperm and male fertility. Previously, biochemical analyses have used pooled samples containing millions of sperm to determine protamine concentrations. These methods have not been able to determine what percentage of morphologically normal sperm are biochemically defective and potentially infertile. Nuclear microscopy has been utilized to measure elemental profiles at the single sperm level. By measuring the amount of phosphorus and sulfur, the total DNA and protamine content in individual sperm from fertile bull and mouse semen have been determined. These values agree with results obtained from other biochemical analyses. Nuclear microscopy shows promise for measuring elemental profiles in the chromatin of individual sperm. The technique may be able to resolve theories regarding the importance of protamines to male fertility and identify biochemical defects responsible for certain types of male infertility.

  14. Nuclear microscopy of sperm cell elemental structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bench, Graham S.; Balhorn, Rod; Friz, Alexander M.

    1995-05-01

    Theories suggest there is a link between protamine concentrations in individual sperm and male fertility. Previously, biochemical analyses have used pooled samples containing millions of sperm to determine protamine concentrations. These methods have not been able to determine what percentage of morphologically normal sperm are biochemically defective and potentially infertile. Nuclear microscopy has been utilized to measure elemental profiles at the single sperm level. By measuring the amount of phosphorus and sulfur, the total DNA and protamine content in individual sperm from fertile bull and mouse semen have been determined. These values agree with results obtained from other biochemical analyses. Nuclear microscopy shows promise for measuring elemental profiles in the chromatin of individual sperm. The technique may be able to resolve theories regarding the importance of protamines to male fertility and identify biochemical defects responsible for certain types of male infertility.

  15. Evaluation of sperm recovered after slaughter from cauda epididymides of red Sokoto bucks

    PubMed Central

    Abu, A. H.; Kisani, A. I.; Ahemen, T.

    2016-01-01

    Aim: Viable spermatozoa could be recovered from the cauda epididymides for the purpose of preservation of genetic material of male animals with desirable traits and for use in reproductive biotechnology. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of storage time on testicular and epididymal biometry, sperm reserves and epididymal sperm characteristics of red Sokoto bucks post mortem. Materials and Methods: Testes-epididymides were collected immediately after slaughter of mature red Sokoto bucks and transported in ice chest to the laboratory. The samples were either processed immediately or stored at 5°C in refrigerator for 24, 48 h and then processed. The testes and epididymides were measured and weighed. Sperm motility, concentration, livability, morphology, intact acrosome, and sperm reserves from different treatment groups including control were evaluated and means (±standard error of mean) were recorded. Results: There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in the testicular and epididymal dimensions determined between the means of the groups. Percent sperm motility and viability decreased significantly (p<0.05) after 24 h from 69.00±0.46 and 71.27±0.50% to 50.60±0.48 and 60.47±0.70% at 48 h, respectively. Significant decreases (p<0.05) in epididymal sperm concentration and intact acrosome from 2.86±0.08 and 92.87±0.39 at 0 to 24 h of storage, respectively, were observed. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that spermatozoa recovered from the epididymides of red Sokoto bucks were viable after storage for up to 48 h. Furthermore, this finding offers some hope that epididymal sperm recovered post-mortem can be used in assisted reproductive technologies. PMID:28096618

  16. Diazinon alters sperm chromatin structure in mice by phosphorylating nuclear protamines

    SciTech Connect

    Pina-Guzman, B.; Solis-Heredia, M.J.; Quintanilla-Vega, B. . E-mail: mquintan@mail.cinvestav.mx

    2005-01-15

    Organophosphorus (OP) pesticides, widely used in agriculture and pest control, are associated with male reproductive effects, including sperm chromatin alterations, but the mechanisms underlying these effects are unknown. The main toxic action of OP is related to phosphorylation of proteins. Chemical alterations in sperm nuclear proteins (protamines), which pack DNA during the last steps of spermatogenesis, contribute to male reproductive toxicity. Therefore, in the present study, we tested the ability of diazinon (DZN), an OP compound, to alter sperm chromatin by phosphorylating nuclear protamines. Mice were injected with a single dose of DZN (8.12 mg/kg, i.p.), and killed 8 and 15 days after treatment. Quality of sperm from epididymis and vas deferens was evaluated through standard methods and chromatin condensation by flow cytometry (DNA Fragmented Index parameters: DFI and DFI%) and fluorescence microscopy using chromomycin-A{sub 3} (CMA{sub 3}). Increases in DFI (15%), DFI% (4.5-fold), and CMA{sub 3} (2-fold) were observed only at 8 days post-treatment, indicating an alteration in sperm chromatin condensation and DNA damage during late spermatid differentiation. In addition, an increase of phosphorous content (approximately 50%) in protamines, especially in the phosphoserine content (approximately 73%), was found at 8 days post-treatment. Sperm viability, motility, and morphology showed significant alterations at this time. These data strongly suggest that spermatozoa exposed during the late steps of maturation were the targets of DZN exposure. The correlation observed between the phosphorous content in nuclear protamines with DFI%, DFI, and CMA{sub 3} provides evidence that phosphorylation of nuclear protamines is involved in the OP effects on sperm chromatin.

  17. Normal reproductive development of offspring derived by intracytoplasmic injection of porcine sperm grown in host mice.

    PubMed

    Kaneko, Hiroyuki; Kikuchi, Kazuhiro; Nakai, Michiko; Tanihara, Fuminori; Noguchi, Junko; Noguchi, Michiko; Ito, Junya; Kashiwazaki, Naomi

    2012-09-01

    For establishment of gonadal xenografting, it is essential to clarify whether offspring derived from gametes grown in host mice harboring xenografts have normal reproductive development. This study examined the secretory profiles of gonadal hormones in relation to sexual maturation or ovarian cyclicity in pigs generated by intracytoplasmic sperm injection using xenogeneic sperm (Xeno-ICSI pigs, four males and one female). We also assessed the developmental activity of gametes obtained from these pigs using in vitro culture systems, or by mating with conventionally produced (conventional) pigs. During the growth of male Xeno-ICSI pigs, serum inhibin and testosterone concentrations were generally within ranges for those hormones in conventional pigs. Histologically, there were no differences in the growth and differentiation of seminiferous tubules between Xeno-ICSI and conventional pigs. Parameters of semen quality, including volume, pH, sperm concentration, and the percentage of motile sperm were not different from those in conventional pigs. Among the Xeno-ICSI pigs, individual differences were noted in the ability of sperm to penetrate oocytes and to produce blastocysts. However, oocytes after in vitro fertilization using these sperm developed into blastocysts containing more than 31 cells. One conventional sow delivered 12 piglets after being mated with a male Xeno-ICSI pig. During growth of the female Xeno-ICSI pig, serum progesterone concentrations had a sudden increase at 41 wk of age, suggesting CL formation. After puberty, this animal showed cyclic changes in the serum concentrations of progesterone and inhibin, and delivered 10 piglets after AI using fresh sperm obtained from a conventional boar. In conclusion, these findings demonstrated that both male and female Xeno-ICSI pigs had normal reproductive abilities.

  18. Diazinon alters sperm chromatin structure in mice by phosphorylating nuclear protamines.

    PubMed

    Piña-Guzmán, B; Solís-Heredia, M J; Quintanilla-Vega, B

    2005-01-15

    Organophosphorus (OP) pesticides, widely used in agriculture and pest control, are associated with male reproductive effects, including sperm chromatin alterations, but the mechanisms underlying these effects are unknown. The main toxic action of OP is related to phosphorylation of proteins. Chemical alterations in sperm nuclear proteins (protamines), which pack DNA during the last steps of spermatogenesis, contribute to male reproductive toxicity. Therefore, in the present study, we tested the ability of diazinon (DZN), an OP compound, to alter sperm chromatin by phosphorylating nuclear protamines. Mice were injected with a single dose of DZN (8.12 mg/kg, i.p.), and killed 8 and 15 days after treatment. Quality of sperm from epididymis and vas deferens was evaluated through standard methods and chromatin condensation by flow cytometry (DNA Fragmented Index parameters: DFI and DFI%) and fluorescence microscopy using chromomycin-A(3) (CMA(3)). Increases in DFI (15%), DFI% (4.5-fold), and CMA(3) (2-fold) were observed only at 8 days post-treatment, indicating an alteration in sperm chromatin condensation and DNA damage during late spermatid differentiation. In addition, an increase of phosphorous content (approximately 50%) in protamines, especially in the phosphoserine content (approximately 73%), was found at 8 days post-treatment. Sperm viability, motility, and morphology showed significant alterations at this time. These data strongly suggest that spermatozoa exposed during the late steps of maturation were the targets of DZN exposure. The correlation observed between the phosphorous content in nuclear protamines with DFI%, DFI, and CMA(3) provides evidence that phosphorylation of nuclear protamines is involved in the OP effects on sperm chromatin.

  19. Ejaculated Mouse Sperm Enter Cumulus-Oocyte Complexes More Efficiently In Vitro than Epididymal Sperm

    PubMed Central

    Suarez, Susan S.

    2015-01-01

    The mouse is an established and popular animal model for studying reproductive biology. Epididymal mouse sperm, which lack exposure to secretions of male accessory glands and do not precisely represent ejaculated sperm for the study of sperm functions, have been almost exclusively used in studies. We compared ejaculated and epididymal sperm in an in vitro fertilization setting to examine whether ejaculated sperm enter cumulus-oocyte complexes more efficiently. In order to prepare sperm for fertilization, they were incubated under capacitating conditions. At the outset of incubation, ejaculated sperm stuck to the glass surfaces of slides and the incidences of sticking decreased with time; whereas, very few epididymal sperm stuck to glass at any time point, indicating differences in surface charge. At the end of the capacitating incubation, when sperm were added to cumulus-oocyte complexes, the form of flagellar movement differed dramatically; specifically, ejaculated sperm predominantly exhibited increased bending on one side of the flagellum (a process termed pro-hook hyperactivation), while epididymal sperm equally exhibited increased bending on one or the other side of the flagellum (pro-hook or anti-hook hyperactivation). This indicates that accessory sex gland secretions might have modified Ca2+ signaling activities in sperm, because the two forms of hyperactivation are reported to be triggered by different Ca2+ signaling patterns. Lastly, over time, more ejaculated than epididymal sperm entered the cumulus oocyte complexes. We concluded that modification of sperm by male accessory gland secretions affects the behavior of ejaculated sperm, possibly providing them with an advantage over epididymal sperm for reaching the eggs in vivo. PMID:25996155

  20. Bovine binder-of-sperm protein BSP1 promotes protrusion and nanotube formation from liposomes

    SciTech Connect

    Lafleur, Michel; Courtemanche, Lesley; Karlsson, Goeran; Edwards, Katarina; Schwartz, Jean-Louis; Manjunath, Puttaswamy

    2010-08-27

    Research highlights: {yields} Binder-of-sperm protein 1 (BSP1) modifies the morphology of lipidic vesicles inducing bead necklace-like and thread-like structures. {yields} In the presence of multilamellar liposomes, BSP1 leads to the formation of long nanotubes. {yields} The insertion of BSP1 in the external lipid leaflet of membranes induces local changes in bilayer curvature. -- Abstract: Binder-of-sperm (BSP) proteins interact with sperm membranes and are proposed to extract selectively phosphatidylcholine and cholesterol from these. This change in lipid composition is a key step in sperm capacitation. The present work demonstrates that the interactions between the protein BSP1 and model membranes composed with phosphatidylcholine lead to drastic changes in the morphology of the lipidic self-assemblies. Using cryo-electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy, we show that, in the presence of the protein, the lipid vesicles elongate, and form bead necklace-like structures that evolve toward small vesicles or thread-like structures. In the presence of multilamellar vesicles, where a large reservoir of lipid is available, the presence of BSP proteins lead to the formation of long nanotubes. Long spiral-like threads, associated with lipid/protein complexes, are also observed. The local curvature of lipid membranes induced by the BSP proteins may be involved in lipid domain formation and the extraction of some lipids during the sperm maturation process.

  1. Identification and characterization of an oocyte factor required for sperm decondensation in pig.

    PubMed

    Li, Jingyu; Huan, Yanjun; Xie, Bingteng; Wang, Jiaqiang; Zhao, Yanhua; Jiao, Mingxia; Huang, Tianqing; Kong, Qingran; Liu, Zhonghua

    2014-10-01

    Mammalian oocytes possess factors to support fertilization and embryonic development, but knowledge on these oocyte-specific factors is limited. In the current study, we demonstrated that porcine oocytes with the first polar body collected at 33 h of in vitro maturation sustain IVF with higher sperm decondensation and pronuclear formation rates and support in vitro development with higher cleavage and blastocyst rates, compared with those collected at 42 h (P<0.05). Proteomic analysis performed to clarify the mechanisms underlying the differences in developmental competence between oocytes collected at 33 and 42 h led to the identification of 18 differentially expressed proteins, among which protein disulfide isomerase associated 3 (PDIA3) was selected for further study. Inhibition of maternal PDIA3 via antibody injection disrupted sperm decondensation; conversely, overexpression of PDIA3 in oocytes improved sperm decondensation. In addition, sperm decondensation failure in PDIA3 antibody-injected oocytes was rescued by dithiothreitol, a commonly used disulfide bond reducer. Our results collectively report that maternal PDIA3 plays a crucial role in sperm decondensation by reducing protamine disulfide bonds in porcine oocytes, supporting its utility as a potential tool for oocyte selection in assisted reproduction techniques.

  2. Prophase I Mouse Oocytes Are Deficient in the Ability to Respond to Fertilization by Decreasing Membrane Receptivity to Sperm and Establishing a Membrane Block to Polyspermy1

    PubMed Central

    Kryzak, Cassie A.; Moraine, Maia M.; Kyle, Diane D.; Lee, Hyo J.; Cubeñas-Potts, Caelin; Robinson, Douglas N.; Evans, Janice P.

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT Changes occurring as the prophase I oocyte matures to metaphase II are critical for the acquisition of competence for normal egg activation and early embryogenesis. A prophase I oocyte cannot respond to a fertilizing sperm as a metaphase II egg does, including the ability to prevent polyspermic fertilization. Studies here demonstrate that the competence for the membrane block to polyspermy is deficient in prophase I mouse oocytes. In vitro fertilization experiments using identical insemination conditions result in monospermy in 87% of zona pellucida (ZP)-free metaphase II eggs, while 92% of ZP-free prophase I oocytes have four or more fused sperm. The membrane block is associated with a postfertilization reduction in the capacity to support sperm binding, but this reduction in sperm-binding capacity is both less robust and slower to develop in fertilized prophase I oocytes. Fertilization of oocytes is dependent on the tetraspanin CD9, but little to no release of CD9 from the oocyte membrane is detected, suggesting that release of CD9-containing vesicles is not essential for fertilization. The deficiency in membrane block establishment in prophase I oocytes correlates with abnormalities in two postfertilization cytoskeletal changes: sperm-induced cortical remodeling that results in fertilization cone formation and a postfertilization increase in effective cortical tension. These data indicate that cortical maturation is a component of cytoplasmic maturation during the oocyte-to-egg transition and that the egg cortex has to be appropriately primed and tuned to be responsive to a fertilizing sperm. PMID:23863404

  3. Ultrastructure of anterior uterus of the oviduct and the stored sperm in female soft-shelled turtle, Trionyx sinensis.

    PubMed

    Han, Xiangkun; Zhangli, Li; Li, Meiying; Bao, Huijun; Hei, Nainan; Chen, Qiusheng

    2008-03-01

    Ultrastructure of sperm storage in female soft-shelled turtle, Trionyx sinensis was examined under light and electron microscopes. Sperm storage tubules are restricted to the anterior of the uterus. These tubules developed either by folding or fusion of the oviductal mucosal folds and are lined by both ciliated and secretory cells. Ciliated cells are characterized by a few microvilli and prominent cilia in the apical membranes. A prominent feature of the secretory cell is the presence of secretory granules in the supranuclear region. The size, shape, and electron density of these granules vary markedly. The secretory product is released mainly by exocytosis into the oviductal lumen, where it appears as flocculent material. The unique structure in the base of the epithelium, the basal border of the cell -- the basal lamina -- and a blood vessel layer, is presumed to be a important barrier, by which the nourishment exchange and the microenvironment maintenance are ensured. The gland cell is presented with numerous, round, membrane-bound secretory granules of moderate to high electron densities. We divide these granules into three types according to their appearance: (1) membrane bounded granules with high-homogeneous electron density, (2) membrane bounded granules with moderate-homogeneous electron density, (3) membrane bounded, electron dense granules with concentric structures. These granules are presented as different stages of the secretions in the gland cell. The junction complexes are markedly distributed between cells, which are important in keeping stability and the microenvironment maintenance of the sperm storage tubules. Sperm stored in the tubules are heterogeneous in cytology. In addition to the mature sperm in the lumen, sperm with large chromatic granules are found, which are presumed to be immature sperm and are being in the process of nuclear condensation. Several spermatozoa in the tubules are exhibited with definitive indications of degeneration of

  4. Sperm and ova as property.

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, R P

    1985-01-01

    To whom do sperm and ova belong? Few tissues are produced by the human body with more waste than the germ cells. Yet dominion over the germ cells, and over the early embryo that results from their union in vitro, is behind much of the emotion that modern reproductive intervention can engender. The germ cells differ from other human tissues that can be donated or transplanted because they carry readily utilizable genetic information. Eventual expression of the germ cells' genetic potential is the legitimate concern and responsibility of their donors, although in the right circumstances the responsibility can by agreement be entrusted to institutions administering gamete or embryo donor programmes; these institutions, in turn, may need to assume responsibility for decisions if, in the case of embryo storage, the wishes of the two donors conflict. The fact of sperm and ovum ownership (and the genetic potential that goes with it) before individuals part with these tissues is beyond dispute. Some contentious issues may be clarified if this area of human dominion, namely control over genetic expression among offspring, is acknowledged to be the legitimate persisting concern of those who have produced sperm and ova after storage commences. PMID:3840532

  5. Leptin Improves Sperm Cryopreservation via Antioxidant Defense

    PubMed Central

    Fontoura, Paula; Mello, Mariana Duque; Gallo-Sá, Paulo; Erthal-Martins, Maria Cecília; Cardoso, Maria Cecília Almeida; Ramos, Cristiane

    2017-01-01

    Background: Leptin and its receptor are present in spermatozoa; however, the role of leptin in sperm function is still controversial. Our present study aimed at demonstrating the effect of cryopreservation on sperm DNA fragmentation (DNAf) and investigating the possible effects of sperm capacitation techniques and leptin in vitro incubation on frozen-thawed sperm DNAf and oxidative stress. Methods: Samples of 45 normospermic men attending for infertility investigation at Vida Centro de Fertilidade, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, were frozen and thawed with or without capacitation and leptin incubation prior to freezing. Sperm DNA fragmentation was evaluated by Sperm Chromatin Dispersion Assay before and after cryopreservation and oxidative stress parameters were measured by spectrophotometry with and without leptin incubation. Statistical analysis was performed using paired t test to compare DNAf between groups before and after freeze-thaw cycle, to compare groups before and after capacitation and leptin incubation and oxidative measurements before and after leptin incubation. Statistical significance was considered when p≤0.05. Results: Our results revealed a significant post-thaw rise in sperm DNAf compared with fresh samples (p=0.0003). Sperm DNAf was significantly reduced when sperm capacitation was performed before freezing, when compared to those frozen with no previous capacitation (p=0.01). The addition of leptin to capacitated sperm before freezing reduced DNAf (p<0.0001) and enhanced superoxide dismutase (p=0.001) and glutathione peroxidase (p=0.02) antioxidant enzymes activity. Conclusion: The addition of leptin to capacitated sperm can improve sperm DNA quality following cryopreservation, possibly by inducing the activity of certain antioxidant enzymes. PMID:28377896

  6. Signaling in Sperm: More Different than Similar.

    PubMed

    Kaupp, U B; Strünker, T

    2017-02-01

    For a given sensory cell type, signaling motifs are rather uniform across phyla. By contrast, sperm from different species use diverse repertoires of sperm-specific signaling molecules and even closely related protein isoforms feature different properties and serve different functions. This surprising diversity has consequences for strategies in fertilization research and it will take some time to get the big picture. We discuss the function of receptors, ion channels, and exchangers embedded in cellular pathways from different sperm species.

  7. The egg nucleus regulates the behavior of sperm nuclei as well as cycling of MPF in physiologically polyspermic newt eggs.

    PubMed

    Iwao, Y; Sakamoto, N; Takahara, K; Yamashita, M; Nagahama, Y

    1993-11-01

    The possible role of the egg nucleus in regulating the behavior of sperm nuclei and the cycling of maturation-promoting factor (MPF) was investigated in the physiologically polyspermic eggs of the newt Cynops pyrrhogaster. Many sperm entered all areas of the egg, but only one sperm pronucleus, the principal sperm pronucleus, moved to the center of the animal hemisphere to form a zygote nucleus with the egg pronucleus. All sperm and egg pronuclei synthesized DNA, but the zygote nucleus completed the synthesis of DNA 0.5-1 hr earlier than the accessory sperm nuclei. Entrance into M phase by the accessory sperm nuclei was delayed to a greater and greater extent with increasing distance of these nuclei from the zygote nucleus. When DNA in the egg nucleus was damaged by uv irradiation, not only were both prophase and M phase in the zygote nucleus prolonged, but also the MPF cycle was delayed. Some accessory sperm nuclei in the animal hemisphere escaped degeneration to form additional bipolar spindles, so that delayed multipolar cleavage occurred. The MPF activity in the vegetal hemisphere was less than 25% of that found in the animal hemisphere at M phase in normally fertilized eggs. The levels of immunologically detectable proteins that contained the sequence PSTAIR in vegetal hemispheres were less than 25% of those in animal hemispheres. These results indicate that the egg nucleus of the Cynops egg is involved in the control of the activation of MPF and that the accessory sperm nuclei in the vegetal hemisphere degenerate as a result of the lack of components that are indispensable for entry into M phase.

  8. Morphologic changes in boar sperm nuclei with reduced disulfide bonds in electrostimulated porcine oocytes.

    PubMed

    Nakai, Michiko; Kashiwazaki, Naomi; Takizawa, Akiko; Maedomari, Naoki; Ozawa, Manabu; Noguchi, Junko; Kaneko, Hiroyuki; Shino, Masao; Kikuchi, Kazuhiro

    2006-03-01

    In pigs, failure of sperm nuclear decondensation has been reported after injection into oocytes. We examined the effects of pretreating sperm heads with Triton X-100 (TX-100) and dithiothreitol (DTT) and of electrical stimulation of oocytes after sperm head injection on time-dependent morphologic changes in sperm nuclei and in vitro development to the blastocyst stage. In experiment 1, spermatozoa were pretreated with 1% TX-100 and 5 mM DTT (T + D) or not treated, and then injected into in vitro matured oocytes. Electrical stimulation (1.5 kV/cm, 20 mus DC pulse) was applied to the oocytes 1 h after injection (stimulated group) or was not applied (unstimulated group). Some of the oocytes in each group were evaluated at hourly intervals until 10 h after injection for morphologic changes in the sperm nuclei. Unstimulated oocytes injected with untreated spermatozoa showed a delayed peak in the rate of nuclear decondensation (39.4-44.1%, 3-6 h after injection) compared with oocytes injected with T + D-treated spermatozoa (57.0% and 52.6%, 1 and 2 h, respectively). The rate of male pronucleus formation peaked 6 h after stimulation (by 40-60%) after injected oocytes had been stimulated with an electrical pulse, irrespective of whether or not the spermatozoa had been pretreated. In unstimulated oocytes, the rate of male pronucleus formation did not increase and stayed at the basal level (less than 20%) throughout the culture period, regardless of the sperm treatment. Thus, T + D treatment of spermatozoa did not affect completion of fertilization. In experiment 2, we evaluated the effects of electrical stimulation and sperm treatment with T + D on the rate of blastocyst formation and the mean number of cells per blastocyst. Oocytes stimulated after injection with either T + D-treated or untreated spermatozoa showed significantly higher percentages of blastocyst formation (24.8% and 27.1% respectively) than did unstimulated oocytes (1.1% and 4.1% for T + D-treated and

  9. Presence and release of bovine sperm histone H1 during chromatin decondensation by heparin-glutathione.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Vázquez, María Luisa; Flores-Alonso, Juan Carlos; Merchant-Larios, Horacio; Reyes, Rosalina

    2008-01-01

    During spermatogenesis, changes in sperm nuclear morphology are associated with the replacement of core somatic histones by protamines. Although protamines are the major nucleoproteins of mature sperm, not all species totally replace the histones. Histone H1, along with protamines, mediates chromatin condensation into an insoluble complex that is transcriptionally inactive. In vitro, heparin-reduced glutathione causes sperm decondensation, and the structures formed are morphologically similar to the in vivo male pronucleus. To study the participation of histone H1 in bovine sperm chromatin remodelling, we measured the presence and release of histone H1 by immunofluorescence, acetic acid-urea-triton-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, and immunoblotting. Nuclear decondensation was induced by 80 microM heparin and 15.0 mM reduced glutathione (GSH) for 7, 14, and 21 h at 37 degrees C. Additionally, nucleons, composed of nuclei isolated from the sperm, were decondensed with 20.0 microM heparin and 5.0 mM GSH for 4.0 h at 37 degrees C. Controls were incubated in buffer for similar periods of time. Immunofluorescent localization of histone H1 was carried out with mouse monoclonal antibody, and DNA localization was visualized by 0.001% quinacrine staining. Chromatin decondensation was accompanied by increased sperm nuclei and nucleon surface area. We observed that histone H1 was localized exclusively in the nuclei of intact sperm and nucleons. Histone H1 immunofluorescent intensity did not change in control samples but decreased over time in samples treated with heparin-GSH. There was a negative correlation between the surface area of sperm nuclei and immunohistochemical intensity of histone H1 (P < 0.05). Nucleon decondensation showed a similar relationship. By electrophoresis and immunoblotting, we verified the loss of histone H1 from the sperm and nucleons and its release into the incubation media. Based on these results, we propose that histone H1 is present in the

  10. Effect of organic selenium in the diet on sperm quality of boars.

    PubMed

    López, A; Rijsselaere, T; Van Soom, A; Leroy, J L M R; De Clercq, J B P; Bols, P E J; Maes, D

    2010-12-01

    The effect of a diet supplemented with organic selenium (Se) on sperm production and quality of boars was investigated. Sixty mature boars from a commercial artificial insemination centre were randomly allocated at Day (D) 0 into Group A and B. Group A received the regular ration supplemented with inorganic Se (0.4 mg/kg feed as Na(2) SeO(3)) whereas Group B was switched to the same diet but with organic Se (0.4 mg/kg fed as Se-yeast). The sperm was investigated during 4 months (D0, D30, D60, D75, D90, D105 and D120). Sperm concentration and motility were objectively measured using a photometer and Computer Assisted Semen Analysis (CASA) respectively. Morphology of the sperm was assessed using eosin-nigrosin staining and the resistance to induction of oxidative stress (production of malonaldehyde, MDA) through thiobarbituric acid reagent species analysis. Additionally, the Se concentration in sperm and blood plasma were measured. Repeated measures analysis of variance (anova) from D60 to 120 (spermatogenesis of approximately 2 months) or anova at D120 (Se concentrations) were used for statistical analysis. The total number of ejaculated sperm was not significantly different between both groups, but boars of Group B had a significantly higher sperm concentration (434.6 vs 514.1 × 10(6) sperm/ml; p < 0.05). Small differences (p < 0.05) were observed between both groups for some CASA parameters, namely straight line velocity (μm/s) (Group A: 48.3, Group B: 45.1), straightness (%) (Group A: 65.6, Group B: 62.2) and linearity (%) (Group A: 32.2, Group B: 29.3). The sperm of Group B showed more oxidative stress (4.1 vs 4.9 μmol MDA/l; p < 0.05) compared with those of Group A. No significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed for the other parameters. Under the present study conditions, changing from inorganic Se to organic Se in the diet of boars increased sperm concentration but reduced some motility parameters and resistance to

  11. Relationship between the nuclear morphology of the sperm of 10 bulls and their fertility.

    PubMed

    Vieytes, A L; Cisale, H O; Ferrari, M R

    2008-11-22

    The relationships between the fertility and nuclear morphology, chromatin maturity and chromatin condensation of the sperm of three bulls with a calving rate over a year of more than 65 per cent, four bulls with a calving rate between 65 per cent and 35 per cent, and three bulls with a calving rate of less than 35 per cent were studied. The sperm nuclei were stained with the Feulgen reaction, and chromatin condensation and maturation were evaluated in situ by staining with toluidine blue and acid aniline blue. Nuclear chromatin decondensation was induced with dithiothreitol; this showed that in the bulls with low fertility, more than 35 per cent of nuclei were decondensed, and that one of them had the lowest percentage of normal nuclei (64.9 per cent) and stronger positive reactions to the acid aniline blue and toluidine blue stains than the other bulls.

  12. Artificial insemination with donor sperm (AID): heterogeneity in sperm banking facilities in a single country (Belgium).

    PubMed

    Thijssen, A; Dhont, N; Vandormael, E; Cox, A; Klerkx, E; Creemers, E; Ombelet, W

    2014-01-01

    Due to the high inflow of foreign patients seeking cross-border reproductive care in Belgium and the increased number of lesbian couples and single women who call for artificial insemination with donor sperm (AID), Belgian sperm banks nowadays face a shortage in donor sperm. However, since there is no central registration system for sperm donors in Belgium, no figures are currently available supporting this statement. Therefore a study was performed to obtain a detailed overview of the sperm banking facilities in Belgium. Questionnaires were sent to all Belgian centres for assisted reproduction with laboratory facilities (n = 18) to report on their sperm banking methods. The results showed that 82% of the centres rely partially or completely on foreign donor sperm. Moreover, four of the thirteen centres that have their own sperm bank use imported donor sperm in > 95% AID cycles. Our results show that in 63% of the Belgian AID cycles imported Danish donor sperm is being used. Donor recruitment is mainly performed through the centre's website (61%) or by distributing flyers in the centre (46%) and 9 to 180 potential donors have been recruited per centre in 2013. Eventually, 15 to 50% of these candidate donors were accepted. Different criteria for donor acceptance are handled by the centres: donor age limits range from 18-25 to 36-46 years old, and thresholds for sperm normality differ considerably. We can conclude that a wide variation in methods associated with sperm banking is observed in Belgian centres.

  13. Relationship between Porcine Sperm Motility and Sperm Enzymatic Activity using Paper-based Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuura, Koji; Huang, Han-Wei; Chen, Ming-Cheng; Chen, Yu; Cheng, Chao-Min

    2017-04-01

    Mammalian sperm motility has traditionally been analyzed to determine fertility using computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) systems. To develop low-cost and robust male fertility diagnostics, we created a paper-based MTT assay and used it to estimate motile sperm concentration. When porcine sperm motility was inhibited using sperm enzyme inhibitors for sperm enzymes related to mitochondrial activity and glycolysis, we simultaneously recorded sperm motility and enzymatic reactivity using a portable motility analysis system (iSperm) and a paper-based MTT assay, respectively. When using our paper-based MTT-assay, we calculated the area mean value signal intensity (AMV) to evaluate enzymatic reactivity. Both sperm motility and AMV decreased following treatment with iodoacetamide (IODO) and 3-bromopyruvic acid (3BP), both of which are inhibitors of glycolytic enzymes including glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). We found a correlation between recorded motility using iSperm and AMV from our paper-based assay (P < 0.05), suggesting that a sperm-related enzymatic reaction is involved in sperm motility. Under this protocol, MTT reduction was coupled with catalysis of GAPDH and was promoted by electron transfer from NADH. Based on this inhibitor study, sperm motility can be estimated using our paper-based MTT-assay.

  14. Artificial insemination with donor sperm (AID): heterogeneity in sperm banking facilities in a single country (Belgium)

    PubMed Central

    Thijssen, A.; Dhont, N.; Vandormael, E.; Cox, A.; Klerkx, E.; Creemers, E.; Ombelet, W.

    2014-01-01

    Due to the high inflow of foreign patients seeking cross-border reproductive care in Belgium and the increased number of lesbian couples and single women who call for artificial insemination with donor sperm (AID), Belgian sperm banks nowadays face a shortage in donor sperm. However, since there is no central registration system for sperm donors in Belgium, no figures are currently available supporting this statement. Therefore a study was performed to obtain a detailed overview of the sperm banking facilities in Belgium. Questionnaires were sent to all Belgian centres for assisted reproduction with laboratory facilities (n = 18) to report on their sperm banking methods. The results showed that 82% of the centres rely partially or completely on foreign donor sperm. Moreover, four of the thirteen centres that have their own sperm bank use imported donor sperm in > 95% AID cycles. Our results show that in 63% of the Belgian AID cycles imported Danish donor sperm is being used. Donor recruitment is mainly performed through the centre’s website (61%) or by distributing flyers in the centre (46%) and 9 to 180 potential donors have been recruited per centre in 2013. Eventually, 15 to 50% of these candidate donors were accepted. Different criteria for donor acceptance are handled by the centres: donor age limits range from 18-25 to 36-46 years old, and thresholds for sperm normality differ considerably. We can conclude that a wide variation in methods associated with sperm banking is observed in Belgian centres. PMID:25009728

  15. Autoradiographic visualization of the mouse egg's sperm receptor bound to sperm

    SciTech Connect

    Bleil, J.D.; Wassarman, P.M.

    1986-04-01

    The extracellular coat, or zona pellucida, of mammalian eggs contains species-specific receptors to which sperm bind as a prelude to fertilization. In mice, ZP3, one of only three zona pellucida glycoproteins, serves as sperm receptor. Acrosome-intact, but not acrosome-reacted, mouse sperm recognize and interact with specific O-linked oligosaccharides of ZP3 resulting in sperm-egg binding. Binding, in turn, causes sperm to undergo the acrosome reaction; a membrane fusion event that results in loss of plasma membrane at the anterior region of the head and exposure of inner acrosomal membrane with its associated acrosomal contents. Bound, acrosome-reacted sperm are able to penetrate the zona pellucida and fuse with the egg's plasma membrane (fertilization). In the present report, we examined binding of radioiodinated, purified, egg ZP3 to both acrosome intact and acrosome reacted sperm by whole-mount autoradiography. Silver grains due to bound 125I-ZP3 were found localized to the acrosomal cap region of heads of acrosome-reacted sperm. Under the same conditions, 125I-fetuin bound at only background levels to heads of both acrosome-intact and -reacted sperm, and 125I-ZP2, another zona pellucida glycoprotein, bound preferentially to acrosome-reacted sperm. These results provide visual evidence that ZP3 binds preferentially and specifically to heads of acrosome intact sperm; properties expected of the mouse egg's sperm receptor.

  16. Relationship between Porcine Sperm Motility and Sperm Enzymatic Activity using Paper-based Devices

    PubMed Central

    Matsuura, Koji; Huang, Han-Wei; Chen, Ming-Cheng; Chen, Yu; Cheng, Chao-Min

    2017-01-01

    Mammalian sperm motility has traditionally been analyzed to determine fertility using computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) systems. To develop low-cost and robust male fertility diagnostics, we created a paper-based MTT assay and used it to estimate motile sperm concentration. When porcine sperm motility was inhibited using sperm enzyme inhibitors for sperm enzymes related to mitochondrial activity and glycolysis, we simultaneously recorded sperm motility and enzymatic reactivity using a portable motility analysis system (iSperm) and a paper-based MTT assay, respectively. When using our paper-based MTT-assay, we calculated the area mean value signal intensity (AMV) to evaluate enzymatic reactivity. Both sperm motility and AMV decreased following treatment with iodoacetamide (IODO) and 3-bromopyruvic acid (3BP), both of which are inhibitors of glycolytic enzymes including glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). We found a correlation between recorded motility using iSperm and AMV from our paper-based assay (P < 0.05), suggesting that a sperm-related enzymatic reaction is involved in sperm motility. Under this protocol, MTT reduction was coupled with catalysis of GAPDH and was promoted by electron transfer from NADH. Based on this inhibitor study, sperm motility can be estimated using our paper-based MTT-assay. PMID:28387379

  17. Sperm cryopreservation update: Cryodamage, markers, and factors affecting the sperm freezability in pigs.

    PubMed

    Yeste, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Cryopreservation is the most efficient method for long-term preservation of mammalian sperm. However, freeze-thawing procedures may strongly impair the sperm function and survival and thus decrease the reproductive performance. In addition, the sperm resilience to withstand cryopreservation, also known as freezability, presents a high individual variability. The present work summarizes the principles of cryoinjury and the relevance of permeating and nonpermeating cryoprotective agents. Descriptions about sperm cryodamage are mainly focused on boar sperm, but reference to other mammalian species is also made when relevant. Main cryoinjuries not only regard to sperm motility and membrane integrity, but also to the degradation effect exerted by freeze-thawing on other important components for sperm fertilizing ability, such as mRNAs. After delving into the main differences between good and poor freezability boar ejaculates, those protein markers predicting the sperm ability to sustain cryopreservation are also mentioned. Moreover, factors that may influence sperm freezability, such as season, diet, breed, or ejaculate fractions are discussed, together with the effects of different additives, like seminal plasma and antioxidants. After briefly referring to the effects of long-term sperm preservation in frozen state and the reproductive performance of frozen-thawed boar sperm, this work speculates with new research horizons on the preservation of boar sperm, such as vitrification and freeze-drying.

  18. Relationship between Porcine Sperm Motility and Sperm Enzymatic Activity using Paper-based Devices.

    PubMed

    Matsuura, Koji; Huang, Han-Wei; Chen, Ming-Cheng; Chen, Yu; Cheng, Chao-Min

    2017-04-07

    Mammalian sperm motility has traditionally been analyzed to determine fertility using computer-assisted semen analysis (CASA) systems. To develop low-cost and robust male fertility diagnostics, we created a paper-based MTT assay and used it to estimate motile sperm concentration. When porcine sperm motility was inhibited using sperm enzyme inhibitors for sperm enzymes related to mitochondrial activity and glycolysis, we simultaneously recorded sperm motility and enzymatic reactivity using a portable motility analysis system (iSperm) and a paper-based MTT assay, respectively. When using our paper-based MTT-assay, we calculated the area mean value signal intensity (AMV) to evaluate enzymatic reactivity. Both sperm motility and AMV decreased following treatment with iodoacetamide (IODO) and 3-bromopyruvic acid (3BP), both of which are inhibitors of glycolytic enzymes including glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). We found a correlation between recorded motility using iSperm and AMV from our paper-based assay (P < 0.05), suggesting that a sperm-related enzymatic reaction is involved in sperm motility. Under this protocol, MTT reduction was coupled with catalysis of GAPDH and was promoted by electron transfer from NADH. Based on this inhibitor study, sperm motility can be estimated using our paper-based MTT-assay.

  19. Delayed sexual maturity in males of Vespa velutina.

    PubMed

    Poidatz, Juliette; Bressac, Christophe; Bonnard, Olivier; Thiéry, Denis

    2017-03-01

    Vespa velutina var nigrithorax (lepelletier, 1835) is an invasive predator of bees accidentally introduced in France in 2004, and it is having a serious impact on apiculture and ecosystems. Studying the reproduction of an invasive species is key to assess its population dynamic. This study explores the sexual maturation of V. velutina males and the evolution of their fertility. The main studied parameters were physiologic (spermiogenesis, spermatogenesis) and anatomic (testes size and structure, head width). Two populations of males were described based on their emergence period: early males in early summer or classic males in autumn. Each testis has an average of 108 testicular follicles. Spermatogenesis is synchronous, with only one sperm production wave, and completed, on average, at 10.3 days after emergence with the degeneration of the testes. The sperm counts in seminal vesicles of mature males are 3×10(6) in October/November and 0.8× 10(6) in June. In comparison, females store 0.1 10(6) sperm in their spermathecae. The early males emerged from colonies made by fertilized queens. The reproductive potential of these early males seemed limited, and their function in the colony is discussed. The sperm stock evolution in autumn males suggests the occurrence of a reproductive pattern of male competition for the access to females and a single copulation per male. The synchronicity of male and foundress emergences and sexual maturation is of primary importance for the mating success and the future colony development. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  20. Hypercholesterolemia Impaired Sperm Functionality in Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Monclus, Maria A.; Cabrillana, Maria E.; Clementi, Marisa A.; Espínola, Leandro S.; Cid Barría, Jose L.; Vincenti, Amanda E.; Santi, Analia G.; Fornés, Miguel W.

    2010-01-01

    Hypercholesterolemia represents a high risk factor for frequent diseases and it has also been associated with poor semen quality that may lead to male infertility. The aim of this study was to analyze semen and sperm function in diet-induced hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Twelve adult White New Zealand male rabbits were fed ad libitum a control diet or a diet supplemented with 0.05% cholesterol. Rabbits under cholesterol-enriched diet significantly increased total cholesterol level in the serum. Semen examination revealed a significant reduction in semen volume and sperm motility in hypercholesterolemic rabbits (HCR). Sperm cell morphology was seriously affected, displaying primarily a “folded head”-head fold along the major axe-, and the presence of cytoplasmic droplet on sperm flagellum. Cholesterol was particularly increased in acrosomal region when detected by filipin probe. The rise in cholesterol concentration in sperm cells was determined quantitatively by Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analyses. We also found a reduction of protein tyrosine phosphorylation in sperm incubated under capacitating conditions from HCR. Interestingly, the addition of Protein Kinase A pathway activators -dibutyryl-cyclic AMP and iso-butylmethylxanthine- to the medium restored sperm capacitation. Finally, it was also reported a significant decrease in the percentage of reacted sperm in the presence of progesterone. In conclusion, our data showed that diet-induced hypercholesterolemia adversely affects semen quality and sperm motility, capacitation and acrosomal reaction in rabbits; probably due to an increase in cellular cholesterol content that alters membrane related events. PMID:20976152

  1. Process and Pitfalls of Sperm Cryopreservation

    PubMed Central

    Rozati, Hamoun; Handley, Thomas; Jayasena, Channa

    2017-01-01

    Sperm cryopreservation has been utilized routinely for over 40 years to preserve fertility in men undergoing cancer therapy and allow conception for infertile couples. This article provides a concise and up-to-date review of the literature and covers the latest advances in sperm cryopreservation and its array of clinical indications. Over recent years, the scope of clinical indications used for sperm cryopreservation has expanded widely. Consequently, more patient groups are eligible for sperm freezing, requiring specialist resources and higher running costs. Although sperm cryopreservation prior to cancer therapy is readily available in many countries, referral rates by oncology specialists and levels of patient engagement with cryopreservation services are both reported as low. Furthermore, sperm banking continues to raise ethical issues such whether sperm donation should be anonymous and whether sperm can be utilized posthumously by the surviving partner without consent from the patient. This review focuses on the technological advances and ethical controversies in sperm cryopreservation, and how better understanding of these issues could lead to improved access to fertility preserving treatment for patients. PMID:28925939

  2. Nontransitivity of sperm precedence in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Clark, A G; Dermitzakis, E T; Civetta, A

    2000-06-01

    Sperm competition is an important component of fitness in Drosophila, but we still do not have a clear understanding of the unit of selection that is relevant to sperm competition. Here we demonstrate that sperm competitive ability is not a property of the sperm haplotype, but rather of the diploid male's genotype. Then we test whether the relative sperm competitive ability of males can be ranked on a linear array or whether competitive ability instead depends on particular pairwise contests among males. Sperm precedence of six chromosome-extracted lines was tested against three different visible marker lines (cn bw, bwD, and Cy), and the rank order of the six lines differed markedly among the mutant lines. Population genetic theory has shown that departures from transitivity of sperm precedence may be important to the maintenance of polymorphism for genes that influence sperm competitive ability. The nontransitivity seen in sperm precedence should theoretically increase the opportunity for polymorphism in genes that influence this phenotype.

  3. Dynamics of vegetative cytoplasm during generative cell formation and pollen maturation in Arabidopsis thaliana

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuang, A.; Musgrave, M. E.

    1996-01-01

    Ultrastructural changes of pollen cytoplasm during generative cell formation and pollen maturation in Arabidopsis thaliana were studied. The pollen cytoplasm develops a complicated ultrastructure and changes dramatically during these stages. Lipid droplets increase after generative cell formation and their organization and distribution change with the developmental stage. Starch grains in amyloplasts increase in number and size during generative and sperm cell formation and decrease at pollen maturity. The shape and membrane system of mitochondria change only slightly. Dictyosomes become very prominent, and numerous associated vesicles are observed during and after sperm cell formation. Endoplasmic reticulum appears extensively as stacks during sperm cell formation. Free and polyribosomes are abundant in the cytoplasm at all developmental stages although they appear denser at certain stages and in some areas. In mature pollen, all organelles are randomly distributed throughout the vegetative cytoplasm and numerous small particles appear. Organization and distribution of storage substances and appearance of these small particles during generative and sperm cell formation and pollen maturation are discussed.

  4. Dynamics of vegetative cytoplasm during generative cell formation and pollen maturation in Arabidopsis thaliana

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuang, A.; Musgrave, M. E.

    1996-01-01

    Ultrastructural changes of pollen cytoplasm during generative cell formation and pollen maturation in Arabidopsis thaliana were studied. The pollen cytoplasm develops a complicated ultrastructure and changes dramatically during these stages. Lipid droplets increase after generative cell formation and their organization and distribution change with the developmental stage. Starch grains in amyloplasts increase in number and size during generative and sperm cell formation and decrease at pollen maturity. The shape and membrane system of mitochondria change only slightly. Dictyosomes become very prominent, and numerous associated vesicles are observed during and after sperm cell formation. Endoplasmic reticulum appears extensively as stacks during sperm cell formation. Free and polyribosomes are abundant in the cytoplasm at all developmental stages although they appear denser at certain stages and in some areas. In mature pollen, all organelles are randomly distributed throughout the vegetative cytoplasm and numerous small particles appear. Organization and distribution of storage substances and appearance of these small particles during generative and sperm cell formation and pollen maturation are discussed.

  5. Intracellular translocation and differential accumulation of cell-penetrating peptides in bovine spermatozoa: evaluation of efficient delivery vectors that do not compromise human sperm motility.

    PubMed

    Jones, Sarah; Lukanowska, Monika; Suhorutsenko, Julia; Oxenham, Senga; Barratt, Christopher; Publicover, Steven; Copolovici, Dana Maria; Langel, Ülo; Howl, John

    2013-07-01

    Do cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) translocate into spermatozoa and, if so, could they be utilized to deliver a much larger protein cargo? Chemically diverse polycationic CPPs rapidly and efficiently translocate into spermatozoa. They exhibit differential accumulation within intracellular compartments without detrimental influences upon cellular viability or motility but they are relatively ineffective in transporting larger proteins. Endocytosis, the prevalent route of protein internalization into eukaryotic cells, is severely compromised in mature spermatozoa. Thus, the translocation of many bioactive agents into sperm is relatively inefficient. However, the delivery of bioactive moieties into mature spermatozoa could be significantly improved by the identification and utility of an efficient and inert vectorial delivery technology. CPP translocation efficacies, their subsequent differential intracellular distribution and the influence of peptides upon viability were determined in bovine spermatozoa. Temporal analyses of sperm motility in the presence of exogenously CPPs utilized normozoospermic human donor samples. CPPs were prepared by manual, automated and microwave-enhanced solid phase synthesis. Confocal fluorescence microscopy determined the intracellular distribution of rhodamine-conjugated CPPs in spermatozoa. Quantitative uptake and kinetic analyses compared the translocation efficacies of chemically diverse CPPs and conjugates of biotinylated CPPs and avidin. 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt (MTS) conversion assays were employed to analyse the influence of CPPs upon sperm cell viability and sperm class assays determined the impact of CPPs on motility in capacitated and non-capacitated human samples. Chemically heterogeneous CPPs readily translocated into sperm to accumulate within discrete intracellular compartments. Mitoparan (INLKKLAKL(Aib)KKIL), for example, specifically accumulated

  6. Alterations to the Bull Sperm Surface Proteins That Bind Sperm to Oviductal Epithelium1

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Pei-hsuan; Suarez, Susan S.

    2012-01-01

    ABSTRACT Three Binder of SPerm proteins (BSP1, BSP3, BSP5) are secreted by bovine seminal vesicles into seminal plasma and adsorbed onto sperm. When sperm inseminated into the female reach the oviduct, the BSP proteins bind them to its epithelial lining, forming a sperm storage reservoir. Previously, we reported that binding of capacitated sperm to oviductal epithelium in vitro is lower than that of uncapacitated sperm and we proposed that reduced binding was due to loss of BSP proteins during capacitation. Because of differences in amino acid sequences, we predicted that each BSP would respond differently to capacitating conditions. To test whether all three BSP proteins were lost from sperm during capacitation and whether the kinetics of loss differed among the three BSP proteins, ejaculated bull sperm were incubated under various capacitating conditions, and then the amounts of BSP proteins remaining on the sperm were assayed by Western blotting. Capacitation was assayed by analysis of protein tyrosine phosphorylation. While loss of BSP1 was not detected, most of the BSP5 was lost from sperm during incubation in TALP medium, even without addition of the capacitation enhancers heparin and dbcAMP-IBMX. Surprisingly, a smaller molecular mass was detected by anti-BSP3 antibodies in extracts of incubated sperm. Its identity was confirmed as BSP3 by mass spectrometry, indicating that BSP3 undergoes modification on the sperm surface. These changes in the composition of BSP proteins on sperm could play a role in releasing sperm from the storage reservoir by modifying sperm interactions with the oviductal epithelium. PMID:22837481

  7. Current status and potential of morphometric sperm analysis

    PubMed Central

    Maroto-Morales, Alejandro; García-Álvarez, Olga; Ramón, Manuel; Martínez-Pastor, Felipe; Fernández-Santos, M Rocío; Soler, A Josefa; Garde, José Julián

    2016-01-01

    The spermatozoon is the most diverse cell type known and this diversity is considered to reflect differences in sperm function. How the diversity in sperm morphology arose during speciation and what role the different specializations play in sperm function, however, remain incompletely characterized. This work reviews the hypotheses proposed to explain sperm morphological evolution, with a focus on some aspects of sperm morphometric evaluation; the ability of morphometrics to predict sperm cryoresistance and male fertility is also discussed. For this, the evaluation of patterns of change of sperm head morphometry throughout a process, instead of the study of the morphometric characteristics of the sperm head at different stages, allows a better identification of the males with different sperm cryoconservation ability. These new approaches, together with more studies employing a greater number of individuals, are needed to obtain novel results concerning the role of sperm morphometry on sperm function. Future studies should aim at understanding the causes of sperm design diversity and the mechanisms that generate them, giving increased attention to other sperm structures besides the sperm head. The implementation of scientific and technological advances could benefit the simultaneous examination of sperm phenotype and sperm function, demonstrating that sperm morphometry could be a useful tool for sperm assessment. PMID:27678465

  8. Sexual selection and the evolution of sperm quality.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, John L; Lüpold, Stefan

    2014-12-01

    Sperm experience intense and varied selection that dramatically impacts the evolution of sperm quality. Selection acts to ensure that sperm are fertilization-competent and able to overcome the many challenges experienced on their way towards eggs. However, simply being able to fertilize an egg is not enough to ensure male fertility in most species. Owing to the prevalence of female multiple mating throughout the animal kingdom, successful fertilization requires sperm to outcompete rival sperm. In addition, females can actively influence sperm quality, storage or utilization to influence male fertility. This review provides an overview of how these selective forces influence the evolution of sperm quality. After exploring the link between sperm traits and male fertility, we examine how post-mating competition between rival ejaculates influences the evolution of sperm quality. We then describe how complex genetic, social and sexual interactions influence sperm quality, focusing on the importance of seminal fluid and interactions between sperm and the female's reproductive tract. In light of the complexities of selection on sperm traits, greater use of multivariate approaches that incorporate male-male, sperm-sperm and sperm-female interactions to study sperm quality will enhance our understanding of how selection acts on sperm traits and factors influencing male fertility. Because the metric of male reproductive success--fertilization--is the same across the animal kingdom, we argue that information about sperm evolution gained from non-human animals has enormous potential to further our understanding of the factors that impact human fertility.

  9. Current status and potential of morphometric sperm analysis.

    PubMed

    Maroto-Morales, Alejandro; García-Álvarez, Olga; Ramón, Manuel; Martínez-Pastor, Felipe; Fernández-Santos, M Rocío; Soler, A Josefa; Garde, José Julián

    2016-01-01

    The spermatozoon is the most diverse cell type known and this diversity is considered to reflect differences in sperm function. How the diversity in sperm morphology arose during speciation and what role the different specializations play in sperm function, however, remain incompletely characterized. This work reviews the hypotheses proposed to explain sperm morphological evolution, with a focus on some aspects of sperm morphometric evaluation; the ability of morphometrics to predict sperm cryoresistance and male fertility is also discussed. For this, the evaluation of patterns of change of sperm head morphometry throughout a process, instead of the study of the morphometric characteristics of the sperm head at different stages, allows a better identification of the males with different sperm cryoconservation ability. These new approaches, together with more studies employing a greater number of individuals, are needed to obtain novel results concerning the role of sperm morphometry on sperm function. Future studies should aim at understanding the causes of sperm design diversity and the mechanisms that generate them, giving increased attention to other sperm structures besides the sperm head. The implementation of scientific and technological advances could benefit the simultaneous examination of sperm phenotype and sperm function, demonstrating that sperm morphometry could be a useful tool for sperm assessment.

  10. Identification and characterization of genes differentially expressed in X and Y sperm using suppression subtractive hybridization and cDNA microarray.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoli; Yue, Yang; He, Yanan; Zhu, Huabin; Hao, Haisheng; Zhao, Xueming; Qin, Tong; Wang, Dong

    2014-10-01

    Differential expression of genes leads to variations in the phenotypes of X and Y sperm, although some differentially expressed gene products are shared through intercellular bridges. Genes differentially expressed in bovine X and Y sperm were identified by a combination of suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), cDNA microarray, and sequence-homology analysis. Microarray data and Significance Analysis of Microarrays software were used to identify 31 differentially expressed genes, only four of which were previously identified. These genes are involved in fundamental life processes of mature sperm, and may be associated with the differences between X and Y sperm since 27 versus 4 were upregulated in X versus Y sperm, respectively. The levels of expression of seven genes-including the known genes UTY, DPH3, CYTB, and ISCU, and the unknown genes X + Y contig 41, X + Y contig 18, and Y + X contig 16-were validated by quantitative real-time PCR, and some genes were clearly differentially expressed by X and Y sperm, despite the presence of intercellular bridges among spermatids. These results provide a theoretical basis for research on gene expression during sperm development, as well as on sex control at the level of sperm.

  11. Laminin-111 Inhibits Bovine Fertilization but Improves Embryonic Development in vitro, and Receptor Integrin-β1 is Involved in Sperm-Oocyte Binding.

    PubMed

    Lin, F; Huang, C-J; Liu, C-S; Guo, L-L; Liu, G; Liu, H-J

    2016-10-01

    This study detected the distribution of laminin during embryonic formation by immunofluorescence. To determine the possible function of laminin on developmental ability of in vitro fertilized embryos, the presumptive zygotes were divided and transferred to CR1aa medium supplemented with different concentrations (0 μg/ml, 5 μg/ml, 10 μg/ml and 20 μg/ml) of laminin. To explore the association with sperm-oocyte fusion, oocytes and/or sperm were pre-incubated with laminin or anti-β1 antibody before insemination. Laminin was absent in mature oocytes and could be detected first at the 8-cell stage and then displayed an increasing tendency. Adding 10 μg/ml laminin to the culture medium improved embryonic development including cleavage rate, blastocyst rate, total cell numbers in the blastocyst and cell numbers in the inner cell mass. Laminin inhibited sperm-oocyte fusion when incubated with oocytes and/or sperm before in vitro fertilization, and only integrin-β1 of sperm was involved in sperm-oocyte binding. Inhibition may be caused by blocking β1, but why laminin inhibits fertilization is still unknown. The results suggest that laminin plays an important role during embryonic formation and has a negative function in sperm-oocyte fusion, but improves embryonic development. However, only integrin-β1 is involved in sperm-oocyte binding. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  12. ATPases, ion exchangers and human sperm motility.

    PubMed

    Peralta-Arias, Rubén D; Vívenes, Carmen Y; Camejo, María I; Piñero, Sandy; Proverbio, Teresa; Martínez, Elizabeth; Marín, Reinaldo; Proverbio, Fulgencio

    2015-05-01

    Human sperm has several mechanisms to control its ionic milieu, such as the Na,K-ATPase (NKA), the Ca-ATPase of the plasma membrane (PMCA), the Na(+)/Ca(2) (+)-exchanger (NCX) and the Na(+)/H(+)-exchanger (NHE). On the other hand, the dynein-ATPase is the intracellular motor for sperm motility. In this work, we evaluated NKA, PMCA, NHE, NCX and dynein-ATPase activities in human sperm and investigated their correlation with sperm motility. Sperm motility was measured by Computer Assisted Semen Analysis. It was found that the NKA activity is inhibited by ouabain with two Ki (7.9 × 10(-9) and 9.8 × 10(-5) M), which is consistent with the presence of two isoforms of α subunit of the NKA in the sperm plasma membranes (α1 and α4), being α4 more sensitive to ouabain. The decrease in NKA activity is associated with a reduction in sperm motility. In addition, sperm motility was evaluated in the presence of known inhibitors of NHE, PMCA and NCX, such as amiloride, eosin, and KB-R7943, respectively, as well as in the presence of nigericin after incubation with ouabain. Amiloride, eosin and KB-R7943 significantly reduced sperm motility. Nigericin reversed the effect of ouabain and amiloride on sperm motility. Dynein-ATPase activity was inhibited by acidic pH and micromolar concentrations of Ca(2) (+). We explain our results in terms of inhibition of the dynein-ATPase in the presence of higher cytosolic H(+) and Ca(2) (+), and therefore inhibition of sperm motility. © 2015 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.

  13. Methamidophos alters sperm function and DNA at different stages of spermatogenesis in mice

    SciTech Connect

    Urióstegui-Acosta, Mayrut; Hernández-Ochoa, Isabel; Sánchez-Gutiérrez, Manuel; Piña-Guzmán, Belem; Rafael-Vázquez, Leticia; Solís-Heredia, M.J.; Martínez-Aguilar, Gerardo; Quintanilla-Vega, Betzabet

    2014-09-15

    Methamidophos (MET) is a highly toxic organophosphate (OP) pesticide that is widely used in developing countries. MET has male reproductive effects, including decreased fertility. We evaluated MET effects on sperm quality, fertilization and DNA integrity, exploring the sensitivity of different stages of spermatogenesis. Adult male mice received MET (3.75 or 5 mg/kg-bw/ip/day/4 days) and were euthanized 1, 28 or 45 days post-treatment (dpt) to evaluate MET's effects on epididymal maturation, meiosis or mitosis, respectively. Spermatozoa were obtained from the cauda epididymis–vas deferens and were evaluated for sperm quality, acrosome reaction (AR; Coomassie staining), mitochondrial membrane potential (by JC-1), DNA damage (comet assay), oxidative damage (malondialdehyde (MDA) production), in vitro fertilization and protein phosphorylation (immunodetection), and erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. At 1-dpt, MET inhibited AChE (43–57%) and increased abnormal cells (6%). While at 28- and 45-dpt, sperm motility and viability were significantly reduced with an increasing MET dose, and abnormal morphology increased at 5 mg/kg/day/4 days. MDA and mitochondrial activity were not affected at any dose or time. DNA damage (OTM and %DNA) was observed at 5 mg/kg/day/4 days in a time-dependent manner, whereas both parameters were altered in cells from mice exposed to 3.75 mg/kg/day/4 days only at 28-dpt. Depending on the time of collection, initial-, spontaneous- and induced-AR were altered at 5 mg/kg/day/4 days, and the fertilization capacity also decreased. Sperm phosphorylation (at serine and tyrosine residues) was observed at all time points. Data suggest that meiosis and mitosis are the more sensitive stages of spermatogenesis for MET reproductive toxicity compared to epididymal maturation. - Highlights: • Methamidophos alters sperm cell function at different stages of spermatogenesis. • Testicular stages of spermatogenesis are more sensitive to

  14. Investigation on the Origin of Sperm DNA Fragmentation: Role of Apoptosis, Immaturity and Oxidative Stress

    PubMed Central

    Muratori, Monica; Tamburrino, Lara; Marchiani, Sara; Cambi, Marta; Olivito, Biagio; Azzari, Chiara; Forti, Gianni; Baldi, Elisabetta

    2015-01-01

    Sperm DNA fragmentation (sDF) represents a threat to male fertility, human reproduction and the health of the offspring. The causes of sDF are still unclear, even if apoptosis, oxidative assault and defects in chromatin maturation are hypothesized. Using multicolor flow cytometry and sperm sorting, we challenged the three hypothesized mechanisms by simultaneously evaluating sDF and signs of oxidative damage (8-hydroxy, 2′-deoxyguanosine [8-OHdG] and malondialdehyde [MDA]), apoptosis (caspase activity and cleaved poly[ADP-ribose] polymerase [cPARP]) and sperm immaturity (creatine phosphokinase [CK] and excess of residual histones). Active caspases and c-PARP were concomitant with sDF in a high percentage of spermatozoa (82.6% ± 9.1% and 53.5% ± 16.4%, respectively). Excess of residual histones was significantly higher in DNA-fragmented sperm versus sperm without DNA fragmentation (74.8% ± 17.5% and 37.3% ± 16.6%, respectively, p < 0.005), and largely concomitant with active caspases. Conversely, oxidative damage was scarcely concomitant with sDF in the total sperm population, at variance with live sperm, where 8-OHdG and MDA were clearly associated to sDF. In addition, most live cells with active caspase also showed 8-OHdG, suggesting activation of apoptotic pathways in oxidative-injured live cells. This is the first investigation on the origin of sDF directly evaluating the simultaneous presence of the signs of the hypothesized mechanisms with DNA breaks at the single cell level. The results indicate that the main pathway leading to sperm DNA breaks is a process of apoptosis, likely triggered by an impairment of chromatin maturation in the testis and by oxidative stress during the transit in the male genital tract. These findings are highly relevant for clinical studies on the effects of drugs on sDF and oxidative stress in infertile men and for the development of new therapeutic strategies. PMID:25786204

  15. Sperm dynamics in spiders (Araneae): ultrastructural analysis of the sperm activation process in the garden spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772).

    PubMed

    Vöcking, Oliver; Uhl, Gabriele; Michalik, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that are surrounded by a proteinaceous sheath. These inactive and encapsulated sperm are transferred to the female spermathecae where they are stored for later fertilization. We analyzed the ultrastructural changes of sperm cells during residency time in the female genital system of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi. We found three clearly distinguishable sperm conditions: encapsulated sperm (secretion sheath present), decapsulated (secretion sheath absent) and uncoiled sperm (cell components uncoiled, presumably activated). After insemination, sperm remain in the encapsulated condition for several days and become decapsulated after variable periods of time. A variable portion of the decapsulated sperm transforms rapidly to the uncoiled condition resulting in a simultaneous occurrence of decapsulated and uncoiled sperm. After oviposition, only decapsulated and uncoiled sperm are left in the spermathecae, strongly suggesting that the activation process is not reversible. Furthermore, we found four different types of secretion in the spermathecae which might play a role in the decapsulation and activation process.

  16. Sperm Dynamics in Spiders (Araneae): Ultrastructural Analysis of the Sperm Activation Process in the Garden Spider Argiope bruennichi (Scopoli, 1772)

    PubMed Central

    Vöcking, Oliver; Uhl, Gabriele; Michalik, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Storage of sperm inside the female genital tract is an integral phase of reproduction in many animal species. The sperm storage site constitutes the arena for sperm activation, sperm competition and female sperm choice. Consequently, to understand animal mating systems information on the processes that occur from sperm transfer to fertilization is required. Here, we focus on sperm activation in spiders. Male spiders produce sperm whose cell components are coiled within the sperm cell and that are surrounded by a proteinaceous sheath. These inactive and encapsulated sperm are transferred to the female spermathecae where they are stored for later fertilization. We analyzed the ultrastructural changes of sperm cells during residency time in the female genital system of the orb-web spider Argiope bruennichi. We found three clearly distinguishable sperm conditions: encapsulated sperm (secretion sheath present), decapsulated (secretion sheath absent) and uncoiled sperm (cell components uncoiled, presumably activated). After insemination, sperm remain in the encapsulated condition for several days and become decapsulated after variable periods of time. A variable portion of the decapsulated sperm transforms rapidly to the uncoiled condition resulting in a simultaneous occurrence of decapsulated and uncoiled sperm. After oviposition, only decapsulated and uncoiled sperm are left in the spermathecae, strongly suggesting that the activation process is not reversible. Furthermore, we found four different types of secretion in the spermathecae which might play a role in the decapsulation and activation process. PMID:24039790

  17. Panning for sperm gold: Isolation and purification of apyrene and eupyrene sperm from lepidopterans.

    PubMed

    Karr, Timothy L; Walters, James R

    2015-08-01

    We describe a simple and straightforward procedure for the purification and separation of apyrene and eupyrene forms of lepidopteran sperm. The procedure is generally applicable to both butterfly and moth species with results varying according to the relative amounts of sperm produced and size of sperm storage organs. The technique relies upon inherent differences between eupyene sperm bundles and free apyrene sperm morphology. These differences allow for separation of the sperm morphs by repeated "panning" of sperm bundles into the center of a plastic dish. The purified eupyrene sperm bundles can then be removed and apyrene sperm collected from the supernatant by centrifugation. Efficacy of the purification process was confirmed by light microscopy and gel electrophoresis of the resulting fractions. Both one- and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis identified significant protein differences between the fractions further suggesting that the panning procedure effectively separated eurpyrene from apyrene sperm. The panning procedure should provide a convenient and accessible technique for further studies of sperm biology in lepidopterans.

  18. The staining pattern of human sperm with Diff Quik: relationship with sperm head morphology and a sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA).

    PubMed

    Moska, Natalie; Murray, Elaine; Wakefield, Penelope; Matson, Phillip

    2011-03-01

    The dark staining of human sperm heads by Diff Quik is significantly correlated with abnormal sperm head morphology (r=0.51, p<0.0001), but is not associated with changes in sperm chromatin detected by a sperm chromatin structure assay (SCSA; r=0.18, p>0.09). Whilst valuable in the assessment of head morphology, it is concluded that Diff Quik staining is not a useful substitute for the SCSA to assess human sperm chromatin.

  19. [Updated detection of the function of sperm plasma membrane].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xin; Xia, Xin-Yi; Huang, Yu-Feng

    2010-08-01

    The sperm plasma membrane is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and a variety of proteins, and its function is associated with sperm capacitation, acrosome reaction and sperm-egg fusion. Sperm fertilizability can be predicted by detecting the function of the sperm plasma membrane, which is performed mainly with the following five techniques: sperm hypoosmotic swelling test, Eosin gamma water test, sperm membrane lipid peroxidation determination, seminal plasma superoxide dismutase determination, and flow cytometry. The evaluation of the function of sperm plasma membrane can be applied in detecting semen quality, selecting semen centrifugation, assessing the quality and fertilizability of sex-sorted sperm, improving cryopreservation, and guiding the optimization of intracytoplasmic sperm injection. This review presents an update on the principles, methods and steps of the detection of sperm plasma membrane function, as well as an overview of its status quo and application.

  20. Predominance of sperm motion in corners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nosrati, Reza; Graham, Percival J.; Liu, Qiaozhi; Sinton, David

    2016-05-01

    Sperm migration through the female tract is crucial to fertilization, but the role of the complex and confined structure of the fallopian tube in sperm guidance remains unknown. Here, by confocal imaging microchannels head-on, we distinguish corner- vs. wall- vs. bulk-swimming bull sperm in confined geometries. Corner-swimming dominates with local areal concentrations as high as 200-fold that of the bulk. The relative degree of corner-swimming is strongest in small channels, decreases with increasing channel size, and plateaus for channels above 200 μm. Corner-swimming remains predominant across the physiologically-relevant range of viscosity and pH. Together, boundary-following sperm account for over 95% of the sperm distribution in small rectangular channels, which is similar to the percentage of wall swimmers in circular channels of similar size. We also demonstrate that wall-swimming sperm travel closer to walls in smaller channels (~100 μm), where the opposite wall is within the hydrodynamic interaction length-scale. The corner accumulation effect is more than the superposition of the influence of two walls, and over 5-fold stronger than that of a single wall. These findings suggest that folds and corners are dominant in sperm migration in the narrow (sub-mm) lumen of the fallopian tube and microchannel-based sperm selection devices.

  1. Microscopy of Physcomitrella patens sperm cells.

    PubMed

    Horst, Nelly A; Reski, Ralf

    2017-01-01

    Archegoniates (bryophytes, ferns and gymnosperms), such as the moss Physcomitrella patens, possess freely motile sperm cells (spermatozoids) which reach the egg cell via surface water. Although these motile flagellated sperm cells are a traditional botanical subject, they have not been thoroughly analysed in the flagship non-seed plant model species P. patens. Protocols are required to determine the behaviour of wild type sperms as a prerequisite for future research such as the characterization of mutants or factors that influence sperm number, morphology, viability and motility. Here, we present protocols for the observation of fixed, as well as live sperms utilizing a standard microscope at intermediate magnifications. Fixed samples can be used for the fast assessment of sperm number and morphology. To determine functionality, the observation of live sperms is required. Protocols for determining both sperm motility and viability are provided, allowing both parameters to be distinguished. These step-by-step protocols are particularly useful for researchers so far not familiar with the analysis of motile gametes and are meant to aid the establishment and improvement of these analyses in order to stimulate research on spermatogenesis in the moss model species P. patens.

  2. Hydrodynamics of Sperm Cells near Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Elgeti, Jens; Kaupp, U. Benjamin; Gompper, Gerhard

    2010-01-01

    Sperm are propelled by an actively beating tail, and display a wide variety of swimming patterns. When confined between two parallel walls, sperm swim either in circles or on curvilinear trajectories close to the walls. We employ mesoscale hydrodynamics simulations in combination with a mechanical sperm model to study the swimming behavior near walls. The simulations show that sperm become captured at the wall due to the hydrodynamic flow fields which are generated by the flagellar beat. The circular trajectories are determined by the chiral asymmetry of the sperm shape. For strong (weak) chirality, sperm swim in tight (wide) circles, with the beating plane of the flagellum oriented perpendicular (parallel) to the wall. For comparison, we also perform simulations based on a local anisotropic friction of the flagellum. In this resistive force approximation, surface adhesion and circular swimming patterns are obtained as well. However, the adhesion mechanism is now due to steric repulsion, and the orientation of the beating plane is different. Our model provides a theoretical framework that explains several distinct swimming behaviors of sperm near and far from a wall. Moreover, the model suggests a mechanism by which sperm navigate in a chemical gradient via a change of their shape. PMID:20712984

  3. Predominance of sperm motion in corners

    PubMed Central

    Nosrati, Reza; Graham, Percival J.; Liu, Qiaozhi; Sinton, David

    2016-01-01

    Sperm migration through the female tract is crucial to fertilization, but the role of the complex and confined structure of the fallopian tube in sperm guidance remains unknown. Here, by confocal imaging microchannels head-on, we distinguish corner- vs. wall- vs. bulk-swimming bull sperm in confined geometries. Corner-swimming dominates with local areal concentrations as high as 200-fold that of the bulk. The relative degree of corner-swimming is strongest in small channels, decreases with increasing channel size, and plateaus for channels above 200 μm. Corner-swimming remains predominant across the physiologically-relevant range of viscosity and pH. Together, boundary-following sperm account for over 95% of the sperm distribution in small rectangular channels, which is similar to the percentage of wall swimmers in circular channels of similar size. We also demonstrate that wall-swimming sperm travel closer to walls in smaller channels (~100 μm), where the opposite wall is within the hydrodynamic interaction length-scale. The corner accumulation effect is more than the superposition of the influence of two walls, and over 5-fold stronger than that of a single wall. These findings suggest that folds and corners are dominant in sperm migration in the narrow (sub-mm) lumen of the fallopian tube and microchannel-based sperm selection devices. PMID:27211846

  4. Discriminating males alter sperm production between species.

    PubMed

    Aspbury, Andrea S; Gabor, Caitlin R

    2004-11-09

    Prezygotic reproductive isolation and its importance in speciation is traditionally approached from the viewpoint of those events that occur before mating. However, recent interest in sperm competition theory has shown that prezygotic isolation can be affected by mechanisms that occur after mating but before fertilization. One neglected aspect of these studies is how the cost of sperm production might play a role in species isolation. We examined differential sperm production in a species whose males are sexually parasitized by a unisexual gynogenetic species. Gynogens are clonal females that require sperm from males of closely related bisexual species to initiate embryogenesis. We tested for differential sperm production by male sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna) when they were in the presence of either a heterospecific, gynogenetic female (Poecilia formosa, Amazon molly) or a conspecific female. We found that previously demonstrated male mate choice for conspecific over heterospecific females also is revealed in sperm production. Males from both an allopatric and a sympatric population produce more sperm when in the presence of a conspecific female than when in the presence of a heterospecific female. We suggest that differential sperm production also could play a role in prezygotic reproductive isolation in bisexual species complexes that occur in sympatry.

  5. Discriminating males alter sperm production between species

    PubMed Central

    Aspbury, Andrea S.; Gabor, Caitlin R.

    2004-01-01

    Prezygotic reproductive isolation and its importance in speciation is traditionally approached from the viewpoint of those events that occur before mating. However, recent interest in sperm competition theory has shown that prezygotic isolation can be affected by mechanisms that occur after mating but before fertilization. One neglected aspect of these studies is how the cost of sperm production might play a role in species isolation. We examined differential sperm production in a species whose males are sexually parasitized by a unisexual gynogenetic species. Gynogens are clonal females that require sperm from males of closely related bisexual species to initiate embryogenesis. We tested for differential sperm production by male sailfin mollies (Poecilia latipinna) when they were in the presence of either a heterospecific, gynogenetic female (Poecilia formosa, Amazon molly) or a conspecific female. We found that previously demonstrated male mate choice for conspecific over heterospecific females also is revealed in sperm production. Males from both an allopatric and a sympatric population produce more sperm when in the presence of a conspecific female than when in the presence of a heterospecific female. We suggest that differential sperm production also could play a role in prezygotic reproductive isolation in bisexual species complexes that occur in sympatry. PMID:15520395

  6. Geometric Morphometrics of Rodent Sperm Head Shape

    PubMed Central

    Varea Sánchez, María; Bastir, Markus; Roldan, Eduardo R. S.

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian spermatozoa, particularly those of rodent species, are extremely complex cells and differ greatly in form and dimensions. Thus, characterization of sperm size and, particularly, sperm shape represents a major challenge. No consensus exists on a method to objectively assess size and shape of spermatozoa. In this study we apply the principles of geometric morphometrics to analyze rodent sperm head morphology and compare them with two traditional morphometry methods, that is, measurements of linear dimensions and dimensions-derived parameters calculated using formulae employed in sperm morphometry assessments. Our results show that geometric morphometrics clearly identifies shape differences among rodent spermatozoa. It is also capable of discriminating between size and shape and to analyze these two variables separately. Thus, it provides an accurate method to assess sperm head shape. Furthermore, it can identify which sperm morphology traits differ between species, such as the protrusion or retraction of the base of the head, the orientation and relative position of the site of flagellum insertion, the degree of curvature of the hook, and other distinct anatomical features and appendices. We envisage that the use of geometric morphometrics may have a major impact on future studies focused on the characterization of sperm head formation, diversity of sperm head shape among species (and underlying evolutionary forces), the effects of reprotoxicants on changes in cell shape, and phenotyping of genetically-modified individuals. PMID:24312234

  7. Nitric oxide inhibition of human sperm motility.

    PubMed

    Weinberg, J B; Doty, E; Bonaventura, J; Haney, A F

    1995-08-01

    To determine the effect of nitric oxide (NO) on sperm motility in