Studies of sperm from mutant mice suggesting that two neurotransmitter receptors are important to the zona pellucida-initiated acrosome reaction
ABSTRACT Two sperm neurotransmitter receptor/channels, the glycine receptor (GlyR) and a nicotinic acetylcholine receptor containing an alpha7 subunit (alpha7nAChR) were previously shown to be important to the mouse acrosome reaction (AR) initiated by solubilized egg zona pellucida (ZP). Here, we investigated whether sperm from homozygous mutant mice with a single amino acid mutation in the alpha subunit of their GlyR and sperm from homozygous mutant mice with an engineered disruption of the gene for the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha7 subunit could undergo the AR on ZP-intact eggs. Wild-type and mutant sperm were treated with 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB), known to be an inhibitor of the ZP-initiated AR (but shown in the present work not to inhibit the acetylcholine-initiated AR). The ZP-initiated AR on ZP-intact eggs should occur only in sperm not treated with QNB. The absence of such an increase in the untreated mutant sperm would demonstrate that such sperm were unable to respond to the intact ZP. The results demonstrated for the first time that GlyR mutant sperm do not undergo the AR on ZP-intact mouse eggs, and that their ability to fertilize is inhibited by 63% in vitro. Moreover, we found that GlyR mutant sperm exhibited normal capacitation and confirmed that they not undergo the AR initiated by solubilized mouse ZP. Our studies demonstrated for the first time that sperm from mutant alpha7nAChR mice exhibit normal capacitation, do not undergo the AR in response to acetylcholine, solubilized ZP or on ZP-intact eggs, and display a 25% reduction in fertilization in vitro. This is the first genetic evidence for the importance of the alpha7nAChR in the ZP-initiated AR. While defects in either the GlyR or the alpha7nAChR completely inhibit the ZP-initiated AR, fertilization by these mutant sperm can still occur in vitro, probably due to sperm that complete spontaneous AR on the ZP.
SourceAvailable from: Celia M Santi[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: 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.Current Topics in Developmental Biology 01/2013; 102:385-421. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-416024-8.00014-3 · 4.21 Impact Factor
Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology 01/1996; 7(1):373-373. DOI:10.1016/S1051-0443(96)70160-4 · 2.15 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Impaired acrosomal reaction (IAR) of sperm causes male subfertility in humans and animals. Despite compelling evidence about the genetic control over acrosome biogenesis and function, the genomics of IAR is as yet poorly understood, providing no molecular tools for diagnostics. Here we conducted Equine SNP50 Beadchip genotyping and GWAS using 7 IAR-affected and 37 control Thoroughbred stallions. A significant (P<6.75E-08) genotype-phenotype association was found in horse chromosome 13 in FK506 binding protein 6 (FKBP6). The gene belongs to the immunophilins FKBP family known to be involved in meiosis, calcium homeostasis, clathrin-coated vesicles, and membrane fusions. Direct sequencing of FKBP6 exons in cases and controls identified SNPs g.11040315G>A and g.11040379C>A (p.166H>N) in exon 4 that were significantly associated with the IAR phenotype both in the GWAS cohort (n = 44) and in a large multi-breed cohort of 265 horses. All IAR stallions were homozygous for the A-alleles, while this genotype was found only in 2% of controls. The equine FKBP6 was exclusively expressed in testis and sperm and had 5 different transcripts, of which 4 were novel. The expression of this gene in AC/AG heterozygous controls was monoallelic, and we observed a tendency for FKBP6 up-regulation in IAR stallions compared to controls. Because exon 4 SNPs had no effect on the protein structure, it is likely that FKBP6 relates to the IAR phenotype via regulatory or modifying functions. In conclusion, FKBP6 was considered a susceptibility gene of incomplete penetrance for IAR in stallions and a candidate gene for male subfertility in mammals. FKBP6 genotyping is recommended for the detection of IAR-susceptible individuals among potential breeding stallions. Successful use of sperm as a source of DNA and RNA propagates non-invasive sample procurement for fertility genomics in animals and humans.PLoS Genetics 12/2012; 8(12):e1003139. DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003139 · 8.17 Impact Factor