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

The expression of atrial natriuretic peptide in the oviduct and its functions in pig spermatozoa.

Locally synthesized atrial natriuretic peptide ( ANP) and its receptors have been found in reproductive tissues of various mammals, and play an important role in the acrosome reaction of human sperm. The objective of the present study was to examine the expression of ANP and its receptors in pig spermatozoa and oviduct, and the effect of ANP on pig spermatozoa function. The expression of ANP and its receptors was analyzed by RT-PCR. Only natriuretic peptide receptors-A ( NPRA) mRNA was detected in fresh sperm. While the levels of natriuretic peptide receptors-C ( NPRC) mRNA were low with no obvious change among different oviductal phases, the levels of ANP mRNA were high in oviduct(OT)1 , OT3 and OT5, but were very low in OT2. On the other hand, the levels of NPRA mRNA were low in OT1 and OT2, increased in OT3 and reached a maximum in OT4 and OT5. Western blot analysis revealed that the level of ANP was high in OT1, decreased in OT2 and OT3, and arrived at the nadir in OT4 and OT5. The effect of ANP on spermatozoa function was studied by the acrosome reaction and IVF. Incubation with ANP for 1 h significantly induced acrosome reaction of preincubated spermatozoa, and maximal response of acrosome reaction (34.1 +/- 2.3%) was achieved at 1 nM ANP treatment. Both C-ANP-(4-23), a selective ligand of NPRC, and caffeine had no effect on the acrosome reaction. The stimulatory effect of ANP on acrosome reaction could be mimicked by the permeable cGMP analog, 8-Br-cGMP. ANP and caffeine had a similar effect on improving the oocytes penetration rate, polyspermy rate and the average number of sperm per penetrated oocyte. Also, ANP treatment had a similar effect on cleavage rate, blastocyst formation rate and the number of cells per blastocyst as that of caffeine treatment. The effects of ANP on the acrosome reaction and the parameters of oocyte penetration could be blocked by cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) inhibitors KT5823 and/or Rp-8-pCPT-cGMPS. These results suggest that the expression of ANP in the oviduct may be involved in the regulation of the acrosome reaction and the fertilising ability of pig spermatozoa, and the PKG pathway possibly participates in the process.[1]


  1. The expression of atrial natriuretic peptide in the oviduct and its functions in pig spermatozoa. Zhang, M., Hong, H., Zhou, B., Jin, S., Wang, C., Fu, M., Wang, S., Xia, G. J. Endocrinol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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