Role of potassium and pH on the initiation of sperm motility in the European eel

The role of potassium from the seminal plasma and/or the activation media was examined by selectively removing K+ from this media, and by testing the use of K+ channel inhibitors and a K-ionophore. Sperm motility was measured using a CASA system, intracellular K+ and pH were measured by flow cytometry, and sperm head area was measured by ASMA: Automated Sperm Morphometry Analyses. Sperm motility was notably inhibited by the removal of K+ from the seminal plasma and by treatment with the K+ ionophore valinomycin. This therefore indicates that a reduction of K+ levels in the quiescent stage inhibits further motility. The normal decrease in sperm head area induced by seawater activation was altered by the removal of K+ from the seminal plasma, and an increase in the pHi in the quiescent stage was also induced. Intracellular pH (pHi) was quantitatively measured for the first time in European eel spermatozoa, being 7.2 in the quiescent stage and 7.1 post-activation. Intracellular and external pH levels influenced sperm motility both in the quiescent stage and at activation. The alkalinization of the pHi (by NH4Cl) inhibited sperm motility activation, while acidification (by Na-acetate) did not have any effect. Our results indicate that a pH gradient between the sperm cell and the seminal plasma is necessary for sperm motility activation. The presence of the ion K+ in the seminal plasma (or in the extender medium) is necessary in order to maintain sperm volume, intracellular pH and sperm motility.

Vílchez M. C., Morini M., Peñaranda D. S., Gallego V., Asturiano J. F. & Pérez L., 2017. Role of potassium and pH on the initiation of sperm motility in the European eel. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 203:210–219. Article (subscription required).

0 Responses to “Role of potassium and pH on the initiation of sperm motility in the European eel”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Subscribe to the RSS feed

Powered by FeedBurner

Follow AnneMarin on Twitter

Blog Stats

  • 1,001,533 hits

OA-ICC HIGHLIGHTS

Ocean acidification in the IPCC AR5 WG II

OUP book