Elevated aminopeptidase N affects sperm motility and early embryo development.
ABSTRACT: Aminopeptidase N (APN) is a naturally occurring ectopeptidase present in mammalian semen. Previous studies have demonstrated that APN adversely affects male fertility through the alteration of sperm motility. This enzyme constitutes 0.5 to 1% of the seminal plasma proteins, which can be transferred from the prostasomes to sperms by a fusion process. In the present study, we investigated the molecular mechanism of action of APN and its role in regulating sperm functions and male fertility. In this in vitro study, epididymal mouse spermatozoa were incubated in a capacitating media (pH 7) containing 20 ng/mL of recombinant mouse APN for 90 min. Our results demonstrated that the supplementation of recombinant APN in sperm culture medium significantly increased APN activity, and subsequently altered motility, hyperactivated motility, rapid and medium swimming speeds, viability, and the acrosome reaction of mouse spermatozoa. These effects were potentially caused by increased toxicity in the spermatozoa. Further, altered APN activity in sperm culture medium affected early embryonic development. Interestingly, the effect of elevated APN activity in sperm culture medium was independent of protein tyrosine phosphorylation and protein kinase A activity. On the basis of these results, we concluded that APN plays a significant role in the regulation of several sperm functions and early embryonic development. In addition, increased APN activity could potentially lead to several adverse consequences related to male fertility.
Project description:Aminopeptidase N (APN/CD13) and neutral endopeptidase (NEP/CD10) are enzymes present in human sperm cells and involved in regulation of sperm motility of noncapacitated spermatozoa. We investigated the involvement of APN/CD13 and NEP/CD10 in motility and in kinematic parameters of human capacitated spermatozoa. Sperm cells isolated by a discontinuous Percoll gradient (40%-80%) followed up by swim-up techniques were incubated with the APN/CD13-specific inhibitor, leuhistin (100 μmol L(-1)), and the NEP/CD10-specific inhibitor, thiorphan (1 μmol L(-1)). The complete inhibition of both APN/CD13 and NEP/CD10 improved sperm motility. Spermatozoa incubated with the APN/CD13-specific inhibitor leuhistin showed asymmetrical trajectories, whereas sperm trajectories were more regular after treatment with the NEP/CD10-specific inhibitor thiorphan. In conclusion, APN/CD13 and NEP/CD10 modulate the motility of capacitated spermatozoa, although each of the enzymes seems to participate in the control of different aspects of sperm motility. Therefore, both inhibitors may be useful for sperm activation at different functional stages of spermatozoa.
Project description:Peroxiredoxins (PRDXs) are important antioxidant enzymes reported to have a role in sperm function and male fertility. However, how PRDXs affects male fertility remain fundamental unanswered questions. We therefore sought to investigate the role of these enzymes in sperm function and fertilisation. In this in vitro trial, mouse spermatozoa were incubated with different concentrations of conoidin A (1, 10, or 100?µM), a specific inhibitor of PRDXs. Our results demonstrated that inhibition of PRDXs by conoidin A significantly decreased the oxidized form of peroxiredoxins (PRDXs-SO3) in spermatozoa. Decreased PRDX activity was associated with a significant reduction in sperm motility parameters, viability, and intracellular ATP, whereas ROS levels, DNA fragmentation, and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential were increased. Simultaneously capacitation and the acrosome reaction were also significantly inhibited perhaps as a consequence of decreased tyrosine phosphorylation and protein kinase-A activity. In addition, fertilisation and early embryonic development were adversely affected following PRDXs inhibition in spermatozoa. Taken together, our data demonstrate that decreased PRDX activity directly affects male fertility due to negative effects on important functions and biochemical properties of spermatozoa, ultimately leading to poor fertilisation and embryonic development.
Project description:Chlamydia trachomatis is the most prevalent sexually transmitted bacterial infection. However, whether Chlamydia trachomatis has a negative impact on sperm quality and male fertility is still controversial. Herein, we report the effects on sperm quality of the in vitro exposure of spermatozoa to Chlamydia trachomatis, and also the effects of male genital infection on male fertility using an animal model. Human and mouse sperm were obtained from healthy donors and cauda epididimys from C57BL/6 mice, respectively. Highly motile human or mouse spermatozoa were in vitro exposed to C. trachomatis (serovar E or LGV) or C. muridarum, respectively. Then, sperm quality parameters were analyzed. Moreover, male fertility of Chlamydia muridarum infected male C57BL/6 mice was assessed. Human or murine sperm in vitro exposed to increasing bacterial concentrations or soluble factors from C. trachomatis or C. muridarum, respectively, did not show differences in sperm motility and viability, apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential, DNA fragmentation, ROS production and lipid peroxidation levels, when compared with control sperm (p?>?0.05). Moreover, no differences in fertility parameters (potency, fecundity, fertility index, pre- and post-implantation loss) were observed between control and infected males. In conclusion, our results indicate that Chlamydia spp. neither directly exerts deleterious effects on spermatozoa nor impairs male fertility.
Project description:Male fertility, the ability of sperm to fertilize and activate the egg and support early embryogenesis, is vital for mammalian reproduction. Despite producing adequate numbers of sperm with normal motility and morphology, some males suffer from low fertility whose molecular mechanisms are not known. The objective was to determine apoptosis in sperm from high and low fertility bulls and its relationship with male fertility. DNA damage, phosphatidylserine (PS) translocation, and expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic proteins (BAX and BCL-2) in the sperm were determined using TUNEL, Annexin V, and immunoblotting approaches, respectively. Amounts of apoptotic spermatozoa were 2.86 (± 1.31) and 3.00 (± 0.96) in high and low fertility bulls, respectively (P=0.548), and were not correlated with fertility. There was a negative correlation between early necrotic spermatozoa and viable spermatozoa (r = -0.99, P<0.0001). Fertility scores were correlated with live spermatozoa detected by eosin-nigrosin test and necrotic spermatozoa determined via flow cytometry (r = -0.49, P<0.006 and r = -0.266, P<0.0113, respectively). BAX level was higher in low fertile group than high fertile group; however, this difference was not statistically significant due to the variations of bull samples (Bull 1-3 vs. Bull 4-5) in low fertile group (P<0.283). BCL-2 was not detectable in any of the sperm samples. The results shed light onto molecular and cellular underpinnings of male fertility.
Project description:Conventional semen analyses are used to evaluate male factor fertility/infertility in humans and other animals. However, their clinical value remains controversial. Therefore, new tools that more accurately assess male fertility based on sperm function and fertilization mechanism are of interest worldwide. While protein markers in spermatozoa that might help differentiate fertile and infertile sperm have been identified, studies are in their infancy, and the markers require validation in field trials. In the present study, to discover more sensitive biomarkers in spermatozoa for predicting male fertility, we assessed protein expression in capacitated spermatozoa. The results demonstrated that cytochrome b-c1 complex subunit 2 (UQCRC2) was abundantly expressed in high-litter size spermatozoa (>3-fold). On the other hand, equatorin, beta-tubulin, cytochrome b-c1 complex subunit 1 (UQCRC1), speriolin, Ras-related protein Rab-2A (RAB2A), spermadhesin AQN-3, and seminal plasma sperm motility inhibitor were abundantly expressed in low-litter size spermatozoa (>3-fold). Moreover, RAB2A and UQCRC1 expression negatively correlated with litter size, while UQCRC2 expression positively correlated with litter size. Finally, the putative biomarkers predicted litter size in field trials. Our study suggests that biomarkers present in spermatozoa after capacitation can help differentiate superior male fertility from below-average fertility with high sensitivity.
Project description:Regulation of ion balance in spermatozoa has been shown to be essential for sperm motility and fertility. Control of intracellular ion levels requires the function of distinct ion-transport mechanisms at the cell plasma membrane. Active Na(+) and K(+) exchange in sperm is under the control of the Na,K-ATPase. Two molecular variants of the catalytic subunit of the Na,K-ATPase, ?1 and ?4, coexist in sperm. These isoforms exhibit different biochemical properties; however, their function in sperm fertility is unknown. In this work, we show that Na,K-ATPase ?4 is essential for sperm fertility. Knockout male mice lacking ?4 are completely sterile and spermatozoa from these mice are unable of fertilizing eggs in vitro. Furthermore, ?4 deletion results in severe reduction in sperm motility and hyperactivation typical of sperm capacitation. In addition, absence of ?4 causes a characteristic bend in the sperm flagellum, indicative of abnormal sperm ion regulation. Accordingly, ?4-null sperm present increased intracellular Na(+) and cell plasma membrane depolarization. These results are unique in demonstrating the absolute requirement of ?4 for sperm fertility. Moreover, the inability of ?1 to compensate for ?4 suggests that ?4 is the Na,K-ATPase-? isoform directly involved in sperm fertility. Our findings show ?4 as an attractive target for male contraception and open the possibility for the potential use of this Na,K-ATPase isoform as a biomarker for male fertility.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Male infertility is a major problem for mammalian reproduction. However, molecular details including the underlying mechanisms of male fertility are still not known. A thorough understanding of these mechanisms is essential for obtaining consistently high reproductive efficiency and to ensure lower cost and time-loss by breeder. RESULTS: Using high and low fertility bull spermatozoa, here we employed differential detergent fractionation multidimensional protein identification technology (DDF-Mud PIT) and identified 125 putative biomarkers of fertility. We next used quantitative Systems Biology modeling and canonical protein interaction pathways and networks to show that high fertility spermatozoa differ from low fertility spermatozoa in four main ways. Compared to sperm from low fertility bulls, sperm from high fertility bulls have higher expression of proteins involved in: energy metabolism, cell communication, spermatogenesis, and cell motility. Our data also suggests a hypothesis that low fertility sperm DNA integrity may be compromised because cell cycle: G2/M DNA damage checkpoint regulation was most significant signaling pathway identified in low fertility spermatozoa. CONCLUSION: This is the first comprehensive description of the bovine spermatozoa proteome. Comparative proteomic analysis of high fertility and low fertility bulls, in the context of protein interaction networks identified putative molecular markers associated with high fertility phenotype.
Project description:We previously identified solute carrier 22a14 (Slc22a14) as a spermatogenesis-associated transmembrane protein in mice. Although Slc22a14 is a member of the organic anion/cation transporter family, its expression profile and physiological role have not been elucidated. Here, we show that Slc22a14 is crucial for sperm motility and male fertility in mice. Slc22a14 is expressed specifically in male germ cells, and mice lacking the Slc22a14 gene show severe male infertility. Although the overall differentiation of sperm was normal, Slc22a14(-/-) cauda epididymal spermatozoa showed reduced motility with abnormal flagellar bending. Further, the ability to migrate into the female reproductive tract and fertilise the oocyte were also impaired in Slc22a14(-/-) spermatozoa. The abnormal flagellar bending was thought to be partly caused by osmotic cell swelling since osmotic challenge or membrane permeabilisation treatment alleviated the tail abnormality. In addition, we found structural abnormalities in Slc22a14(-/-) sperm cells: the annulus, a ring-like structure at the mid-piece-principal piece junction, was disorganised, and expression and localisation of septin 4, an annulus component protein that is essential for the annulus formation, was also impaired. Taken together, our results demonstrated that Slc22a14 plays a pivotal role in normal flagellar structure, motility and fertility in mouse spermatozoa.
Project description:Our previous work identified NHA1, a testis-specific sodium-hydrogen exchanger, is specifically localized on the principal piece of mouse sperm flagellum. Our subsequent study suggested that the number of newborns and fertility rate of NHA1-vaccinated female mice are significantly stepped down. In order to define the physiological function of NHA1 in spermatozoa, we generated Nha1(Fx/Fx), Zp3-Cre (hereafter called Nha1 cKO) mice and found that Nha1 cKO males were viable and subfertile with reduced sperm motility. Notably, cyclic AMP (cAMP) synthesis by soluble adenylyl cyclase (sAC) was attenuated in Nha1 cKO spermatozoa and cAMP analogs restored sperm motility. Similar to Nha1 cKO males, Nha2(Fx/Fx), Zp3-Cre (hereafter called Nha2 cKO) male mice were subfertile, indicating these two Nha genes may be functionally redundant. Furthermore, we demonstrated that male mice lacking Nha1 and Nha2 genes (hereafter called Nha1/2 dKO mice) were completely infertile, with severely diminished sperm motility owing to attenuated sAC-cAMP signaling. Importantly, principal piece distribution of NHA1 in spermatozoa are phylogenetically conserved in spermatogenesis. Collectively, our data revealed that NHA1 and NHA2 function as a key sodium-hydrogen exchanger responsible for sperm motility after leaving the cauda epididymidis.
Project description:The xenoestrogen bisphenol-A (BPA) is a widespread environmental contaminant that has been studied for its impact on male fertility in several species of animals and humans. Growing evidence suggests that xenoestrogens can bind to receptors on spermatozoa and thus alter sperm function. The objective of the study was to investigate the effects of varying concentrations of BPA (0.0001, 0.01, 1, and 100 ?M for 6 h) on sperm function, fertilization, embryonic development, and on selected fertility-related proteins in spermatozoa. Our results showed that high concentrations of BPA inhibited sperm motility and motion kinematics by significantly decreasing ATP levels in spermatozoa. High BPA concentrations also increased the phosphorylation of tyrosine residues on sperm proteins involved in protein kinase A-dependent regulation and induced a precocious acrosome reaction, which resulted in poor fertilization and compromised embryonic development. In addition, BPA induced the down-regulation of ?-actin and up-regulated peroxiredoxin-5, glutathione peroxidase 4, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, and succinate dehydrogenase. Our results suggest that high concentrations of BPA alter sperm function, fertilization, and embryonic development via regulation and/or phosphorylation of fertility-related proteins in spermatozoa. We conclude that BPA-induced changes in fertility-related protein levels in spermatozoa may be provided a potential cue of BPA-mediated disease conditions.