Article

Capacitation of sperm in the female reproductive tract of the rabbit during estrus and pseudopregnancy.

Fertility and Sterility (Impact Factor: 4.17). 03/1971; 22(2):92-7.
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    ABSTRACT: Mammalian sperm must undergo a series of controlled molecular processes in the female reproductive tract called capacitation before they are capable of penetrating and fertilizing the egg. Capacitation, as a complex biological process, is influenced by many molecular factors, among which steroidal hormone estrogens play their role. Estrogens, present in a high concentration in the female reproductive tract are generally considered as primarily female hormones. However, there is increasing evidence of their important impact on male reproductive parameters. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of three natural estrogens such as estrone (E1), 17beta-estradiol (E2) and estriol (E3) as well as the synthetical one, 17 alpha-ethynylestradiol (EE2) on boar sperm capacitation in vitro. Boar sperm were capacitated in vitro in presence of estrogens. Capacitation progress in control and experimental samples was analyzed by flow cytometry with the anti-acrosin monoclonal antibody (ACR.2) at selected times of incubation. Sperm samples were analyzed at 120 min of capacitation by CTC (chlortetracycline) assay, immunocytochemistry and flow cytometry with anti-acrosin ACR.2 antibody. Furthermore, sperm samples and capacitating media were analyzed by immunocytochemistry, ELISA with the ACR.2 antibody, and the acrosin activity assay after induced acrosomal reaction (AR). Estrogens stimulate sperm capacitation of boar sperm collected from different individuals. The stimulatory effect depends on capacitation time and is highly influenced by differences in the response to estrogens such as E2 by individual animals. Individual estrogens have relatively same effect on capacitation progress. In the boar samples with high estrogen responsiveness, estrogens stimulate the capacitation progress in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, estrogens significantly increase the number of acrosome-reacted sperm after zona pellucida- induced acrosomal reaction. We demonstrate here the stimulatory effect of four different estrogens on boar sperm capacitation in vitro. According to our results, there is significant difference in the response to tested estrogens at different capacitation time and among individual animals. In animals with a high response to estrogens, there is a concentration-dependent stimulation of capacitation and individual estrogens have relatively the same effect. Effects of individual estrogens, differences in the response to them by individual animals, their time and concentration-dependent outcomes further contribute to our knowledge about steroidal action in sperm.
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    ABSTRACT: Several lines of evidence suggest that decapacitation of sperm occurs normally in the male reproductive tract, and as a result the acrosome is stabilized and the acrosome reaction is controlled. Since the defining experiments in 1951, where decapacitation was reversed in the female reproductive tract by capacitation, investigations have pursued the molecular events of this process. This review attempts to examine critically the older literature and compare that perspective with the current theories. The theories for decapacitation of sperm include the possible role of a peptide decapacitation factor, a glycoprotein-mediated steroid transfer to the sperm, masking of a galactosyl transferase by some macromolecule-containing carbohydrate, preclusion of calcium influx by a binding protein, and sperm interaction with the acrosome stabilizing factor. Although these theories are diverse, there are some unifying aspects. However, there remain some major unanswered questions. For example, although we point to some circumstantial evidence that infers a single decapacitation factor, this needs to be further substantiated. It is concluded that with the purification of a macromolecule involved in capacitation, specific proposals on the mechanism of capacitation, and new tools to evaluate the capacitation process, it is likely that another decade will not pass without emergence of a unifying molecular theory of sperm capacitation.
    American Journal of Anatomy 12/1985; 174(3):269-83.
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    ABSTRACT: In an attempt to demonstrate limitations in the capacitating potential of the Fallopian tube, ejaculated boar spermatozoa were introduced directly into the isthmus at varying intervals before ovulation. The incidence and degree of polyspermy subsequently observed were taken as indicators of the population of capacitated spermatozoa confronting the newly ovulated eggs: the more extensive the condition of polyspermy, the greater the number of capacitated spermatozoa presumed to have been available at the site of fertilization. Results are based on 673 eggs from 53 animals. When suspensions containing 2.21-3.87 x 10(8) sperm per ml were introduced 36-40 hours and 26-30 hours before ovulation, 85% and 61% respectively of the eggs were polyspermic, such eggs exhibiting mainly dispermy and trispermy. By contrast, when comparable sperm suspensions from the same boar were instilled 17-18 hours before ovulation, 70% of the eggs were polyspermic but the degree of polyspermy had increased dramatically: most eggs contained 40 or more sperm heads in the vitellus, invariably forming swollen chromatin aggregates rather than male pronuclei. Surgical insemination at times closer to ovulation significantly reduced the incidence and degree of polyspermy, reaching a low of 2% with insemination 1-2 hours before ovulation. These results therefore support the concept of a limited capacitation potential of the Fallopian tube. In a separate series of observations, mating animals shortly before surgical insemination with sperm suspensions from the same boar markedly reduced the incidence of polyspermy. This latter observation may be of clinical significance in procedures of laparoscopic or transcervical insemination into the tubes to alleviate human infertility. The manner whereby myosalpingeal physiology could be modified in response to coital stimulation is discussed.
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