Epididymal maturation and the acrosome reaction in mouse sperm: response to zona pellucida develops coincident with modification of M42 antigen.

Development of the sperm's capacity to interact with the zona pellucida was investigated at the stage when the acrosome reaction (AR) is induced. The response of epididymal sperm to agents that affect the occurrence of the AR was used to monitor maturational changes. Despite the finding that sperm from the three main epididymal regions were competent to undergo ARs induced by the divalent cation ionophore A23187 (56% AR, 74% AR, and 83% AR in caput, corpus, and cauda, respectively), the cells' responses to solubilized zonae pellucidae were different. When challenged with 5 zonae equivalents/microliter, both corpus and cauda sperm shed their acrosomes in high numbers (75% AR and 86% AR, respectively), whereas caput sperm did not (23% AR). Previous work has shown that the presence of M42 monoclonal antibody (mAb) during in vitro and in vivo fertilization inhibits sperm penetration through the zona pellucida by specific interference with zonae pellucidae-induced ARs. In this study, presence of the M42 mAb did not affect the incidence of A23187-induced ARs, whereas the zona-induced ARs that occurred in both corpus and cauda sperm were inhibited fully with M42 immunoglobulin (Ig) G. In addition, the antigen recognized by M42 mAb on sperm, termed M42 Ag, was examined during epididymal maturation. Although antigen localization appeared indistinguishable by immunofluorescence on sperm taken from the caput, corpus, and cauda regions of the epididymis, modification of this antigen during epididymal transit was detected. Equilibrium-binding studies using 125I-M42 IgG demonstrated a progressive increase during epididymal transit in the amount of M42 mAb that bound to fixed cells. Corpus and cauda sperm bound 185% and 240%, respectively, of the 125I-M42 IgG detected on caput sperm. These changes in expression of M42 Ag paralleled a structural change: the Mr of the antigen decreased from a 195,000/210,000 doublet in caput sperm to a 185,000/200,000 doublet in corpus and cauda sperm, as determined by immunoblot analysis of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-extracted sperm. Results presented here demonstrate that mouse sperm develop the capacity to undergo a zona-induced AR during epididymal maturation. The M42 antigen, which is involved in the zona-induced AR, is modified during epididymal transit coincident with development of the sperm's responsiveness to zonae. Our working hypothesis, based on these results, is that development of the sperm's capacity to undergo a physiological AR is related to modification of M42 Ag.
AuthorsK A Lakoski, C P Carron, C L Cabot, P M Saling
JournalBiology of reproduction (Biol Reprod) Vol. 38 Issue 1 Pg. 221-33 (Feb 1988) ISSN: 0006-3363 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID3365470 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens
  • Acrosome (immunology, physiology)
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens (analysis)
  • Epididymis (physiology)
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Ovum (physiology)
  • Sperm-Ovum Interactions
  • Spermatozoa (immunology, physiology)
  • Zona Pellucida (immunology, physiology)

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