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Mol Reprod Dev. 2002 Mar;61(3):376-84.

Quantitative analysis of flagellar movement in hyperactivated and acrosome-reacted golden hamster spermatozoa.

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Department of Bioengineering, Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, O-okayama Meguro-ku Tokyo, Japan.


Caudal epididymal spermatozoa of golden hamsters were incubated in capacitation medium. Their movement patterns changed as they became hyperactivated and underwent the acrosome reaction. To understand the basic mechanism by which changes in movement pattern are brought about, digital image analysis was carried out on the flagellar movements recorded with a video system. The degree of flagellar bending increased with incubation time, especially in the proximal midpiece. The hyperactivated spermatozoa had remarkably asymmetrical flagellar waves of large amplitude because either the bends in the same direction as the hook of the head (referred as the "pro-hook bend") or the bends in the opposite direction to the hook of the head (referred as the "anti-hook bend") extremely increased their curvature; whereas, the acrosome-reacted spermatozoa had relatively symmetrical flagellar waves of large amplitude because both the pro- and anti-hook bends remarkably increased their curvature. Beat frequency significantly decreased while wavelength of flagellar waves increased after hyperactivation and further after the acrosome reaction. These results suggest that both extreme pro- and anti-hook bends are essential in the acrosome-reacted spermatozoa even though beat frequency decreased markedly.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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