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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Energy requirement of bovine spermatozoa for in vitro capacitation.

The oxidative energy requirements of bovine spermatozoa capacitated with dilauroil-phosphatidylcholine liposomes ( PC 12) and the effect of these liposomes on acrosome reaction necessary for in vitro fertilization were studied. Mitochondrial respiration was measured using 3 different substrates (pyruvate-lactate-glucose) and endogenous substrates. The samples were either treated with PC 12 or were left untreated and used as the control. A 2.8-fold increase in the consumption of oxygen was observed in the PC 12 treated spermatozoa in the presence of the 3 combined substrates (pyruvate-lactate-glucose). Respiration changes were not observed when the spermatozoa were capacitated with only 2 of the 3 substrates or with glucose alone. When endogenous substrates were used, the consumption of oxygen increased 1.7 times, and mitochondrial uncoupling was observed in the treated samples. The hypermotility characteristic of the capacitation process was not observed when glucose or endogenous substrates were used. When the percentage of intact acrosomes was determined using differential-interferential contrast (DIC) microscopy, it was found that in the presence of oxidative substrates there was a 26% decrease compared with that of the control sample. The proportion of reacted acrosomes was in the range of 41.3 to 49.6%, as measured by the chlortetracycline epifluorescence method in the presence of calcium ionophore A23187. Only 4% of the spermatozoa showed acrosome reaction with endogenous substrates. A higher percentage of fertilized oocytes were observed when the spermatozoa were capacitated in the presence of the 3 substrates (pyruvate-lactate-glucose), confirming that the success of in vitro fertilization depends on the energy conditions associated with the capacitation process. The results of these experiments indicate that the presence of oxidative energy is necessary to produce capacitation and the hyperactivation characteristic in frozen-thawed bovine spermatozoa treated with liposomes.[1]


  1. Energy requirement of bovine spermatozoa for in vitro capacitation. Dalvit, G.C., Miragaya, M.H., Chaves, M.G., Beconi, M.T. Theriogenology (1995) [Pubmed]
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