Sperm acrosome status before and during fertilization in the Chinese hamster (Cricetulus griseus), and observation of oviductal vesicles and globules

Hiroyuki Tateno, Miwa Tamura-Nakano, Hirokazu Kusakabe, Noritaka Hirohashi, Natsuko Kawano, Ryuzo Yanagimachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study was conducted to determine exact location where the acrosome reaction of fertilizing spermatozoa begins in the oviduct of the Chinese hamster. Unlike spermatozoa of other rodent species, Chinese hamster spermatozoa did not spontaneously undergo the acrosome reaction in fertilization-supporting media. In naturally mated females, spermatozoa in the uterus had intact acrosomes, whereas those in the lower oviductal isthmus had visibly thin acrosomal caps. The acrosomal cap was lost when spermatozoa passed through the cumulus oophorus. Thus, Chinese hamster spermatozoa begin the acrosome reaction in the lower isthmus and complete it in the cumulus oophorus. The mucosal epithelium of the oviductal isthmus released many “transparent” vesicles into the lumen, was very fragile and readily sloughed off by rough handling or rapid flushing with medium. Globular materials that oozed out of the dissected oviduct were most likely mucosa cells destroyed by rough handling. Although the oviducts of Chinese hamsters may be exceptionally delicate, this observation nevertheless warns us to cautiously handle the oviducts of any species when studying oviduct secretions that could be involved in inducing capacitation and the acrosome reaction of spermatozoa within the female genital tract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-804
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Volume88
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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