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Uribe, S; Azamar, Y; Mujica, A (2007)


MOL REPROD DEV 74(3):312-320
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Sperm motility is a must for natural fertilization to occur. During their travel through the epididymis, mammalian spermatozoa gradually acquire the ability to move. This is accomplished through a sliding movement of the outer doublet microtubules of the axoneme which is energized by the dynein ATPase. Within its complex structure, the mammalian sperm flagellum contains F-actin and thus, we decided to test in the guinea pig sperm flagellum the role of F-actin in motility. During maturation, capacitation, and the acrosome reaction, a gradual decrease of the relative concentration of F-actin was observed. Motility increased as spermatozoa became able to fertilize. Gelsolin, phalloidin, and KI inhibited sperm motility. Gelsolin canceled sperm motility within 20 min of treatment while 0.6 M KI had immediate effects. Phalloidin diminished hyperactive sperm motility slightly. All three compounds significantly increased the relative concentration of F-actin. Latrunculins are conventional drugs that destabilize the F-actin cytoskeleton. Latrunculin A (LAT A) did not affect sperm motility; but significantly increased F-actin relative concentration. The results suggested that in guinea pig spermatozoa, randomly severing F-actin filaments inhibits flagellar motility; while end filament alteration does not. Thus, specific filament regions seem to be important for sperm motility.