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Cell Tissue Res. 1987 Dec;250(3):673-80.

Filipin-sterol complexes in golden hamster sperm membranes with special reference to epididymal maturation.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Miyazaki Medical College, Japan.


The distribution of membrane filipin-sterol complexes (FSCs) was qualitatively surveyed on freeze-fracture replicas of spermatozoa from the male reproductive tract and ejaculates of golden hamster. In the head, the acrosomal plasma membrane showed the strongest filipin labeling on the principal segment, but it was absent in the "quilt-like pattern" areas. These latter were observed in both caput and corpus epididymal spermatozoa, but were absent in mature spermatozoa. The postacrosomal plasma membrane had few FSCs and both the outer and inner acrosomal membranes were always negative to filipin. The nuclear membrane of the principal segment was constantly filipin-positive. The nuclear membrane of the postacrosomal region had more FSCs than that of the principal segment, particularly in mature spermatozoa. Many linear, "rod-like FSCs" were observed on the postacrosomal nuclear membrane of mature spermatozoa, especially in the uterine spermatozoan samples. In the neck, the plasma membrane had only a few FSCs. The redundant nuclear membrane was slightly filipin-positive, while the membrane scroll of mature spermatozoa was heavily labeled. In the tail, the plasma membrane of both the middle and principal piece was moderately labeled.

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