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Biol Reprod. 1984 Mar;30(2):323-31.

Assessment of cell damage caused by spontaneous lipid peroxidation in rabbit spermatozoa.


Damage to the plasma membrane of rabbit epididymal spermatozoa during spontaneous lipid peroxidation was examined by means of trypan blue uptake and expression of activity of the intracellular enzymes, lactate dehydrogenase and pyruvate kinase. Both the dye uptake and the expression of enzyme activity probe cell damage from lipid peroxidation as loss of integrity of the plasma membrane. A linear correlation was obtained between trypan blue staining of the cells and malondialdehyde production, a quantifiable measure of the extent of lipid peroxidation. At the point of trypan blue staining of all cells, 0.5 nmol malondialdehyde/10(8) cells was produced. This is the same amount produced at the point of complete loss of motility and superoxide dismutase activity. We have defined this as the "lipoperoxidative lethal end point." Expression of lactate dehydrogenase and pyruvate kinase activities increased with time of aerobic incubation. In the high Na+ medium, NTP, in which lipid peroxidation is slow, there is a linear correlation between increase in expressed enzyme activities and malondialdehyde production. But in the high K+ medium, KTP, in which lipid peroxidation is rapid, there is an initial rapid rise in expressed enzyme activity over 3 h, followed by a slower increase. Activities of rabbit sperm lactate dehydrogenase, pyruvate kinase, and flagellar ATPase were unaffected by aerobic incubations for up to 48 h, double the incubation period used for the assay of enzymatic activities for the first two. The activity of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase decreased during aerobic incubation, the time course matching the loss of motility. The subcellular distribution of lactate dehydrogenase in rabbit spermatozoa was determined: 4% in the mitochondrial matrix, 10% in the plasma membrane and 85% in the cytosolic compartment.

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