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Theriogenology. 2004 Jan 1;61(1):35-54.

Role of potassium channels, the sodium-potassium pump and the cytoskeleton in the control of dog sperm volume.

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  • 1Institute for Reproductive Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Bünteweg 15, 30559, Hannover, Germany. Anna.Petrounkina@tiho-hannover.de

Abstract

Response to osmotic shock is an important aspect of mammalian sperm physiology. In this study we recorded volume changes of dog spermatozoa at 39, 33, and 25 degrees C under isotonic conditions and following hypotonic shock. Cell volume measurements were performed electronically in saline solutions of 300 and 150 mOsmol kg(-1), and Percoll-washed preparations were compared with unwashed samples. The involvement of potassium channels in volume control was tested by treatment with quinine, while the involvement of the plasma membrane Na(+)-K+ pump was tested by treatment with ouabain. The role of the cytoskeleton was investigated by treatment with colchicine and cytochalasin D. The number of cell populations observed varied with temperature and tonicity. In both types of sperm preparations, between two and three populations were present under isotonic conditions at 25 degrees C whereas at 39 and 33 degrees C only one population was detected. Hypotonic stress at the higher temperatures caused the single population to swell, whereas at 25 degrees C it resulted in a population of cells whose modal volume was similar to that of the middle isotonic sub-population. Both quinine and the cytoskeletal inhibitors markedly increased swelling both under hypotonic conditions at 39 degrees C and under isotonic conditions at 25 degrees C. However, little or no effect of ouabain was observed. We conclude that in dog spermatozoa swelling in response to hypotonic conditions is minimised through the activity of potassium channels and the presence of an intact cytoskeletal network. Under isotonic conditions at 25 degrees C, a considerable proportion of the sperm population is already swollen; this swelling varies between individual males and appears to be due to lowered cytoskeletal and potassium channel activity.

PMID:
14643860
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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