Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jun 30;106(26):10859-64. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0900602106. Epub 2009 Jun 18.

Zinc is an essential trace element for spermatogenesis.

Author information

1
Research Group for Reproductive Physiology, South Ehime Fisheries Research Center, Ehime University, Ainan, Ehime 798-4131, Japan.

Abstract

Zinc (Zn) plays important roles in various biological activities but there is little available information regarding its functions in spermatogenesis. In our current study, we further examined the role of Zn during spermatogenesis in the Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica). Human CG (hCG) was injected into the animals to induce spermatogenesis, after which the concentration of Zn in the testis increased in tandem with the progression of spermatogenesis. Staining of testicular cells with a Zn-specific fluorescent probe revealed that Zn accumulates in germ cells, particularly in the mitochondria of spermatogonia and spermatozoa. Using an in vitro testicular organ culture system for the Japanese eel, production of a Zn deficiency by chelation with N,N,N',N'-tetrakis (2-pyridylemethyl)ethylenediamine (TPEN) caused apoptosis of the germ cells. However, this cell death was rescued by the addition of Zn to the cultures. Furthermore, an induced deficiency of Zn by TPEN chelation was found to inhibit the germ cell proliferation induced by 11-ketotestosterone (KT), a fish specific androgen, 17alpha,20beta-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (DHP), the initiator of meiosis in fish, and estradiol-17beta (E2), an inducer of spermatogonial stem-cell renewal. We also investigated the effects of Zn deficiency on sperm motility and observed that TPEN treatment of eel sperm suppressed the rate and duration of their motility but that co-treatment with Zn blocked the effects of TPEN. Our present results thus suggest that Zn is an essential trace element for the maintenance of germ cells, the progression spermatogenesis, and the regulation of sperm motility.

PMID:
19541612
PMCID:
PMC2705534
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0900602106
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center