To provide new insights into the mechanisms through which seminal plasma proteins (SPP) are able to protect spermatozoa, we tested the hypothesis that apoptosis can contribute to the negative effect of refrigeration on ram spermatozoa, and that SPP prevent this damage. Having proved the presence of key constituents of apoptosis-related pathways in ram sperm protein extracts, we carried out a comparative analysis of the effects of the addition of SPP before refrigeration (15°C, 30 min) and induced-apoptosis with betulinic acid or fibroblast-associated receptor ligand, assessing sperm quality parameters and apoptotic markers. The protective effect of SPP on plasma membrane integrity and potential, motility and mitochondrial inner membrane potential, and surface (cardiolipin content) was evidenced in refrigerated and induced-apoptosis samples. The addition of SPP resulted in lower values of phosphatidylserine externalization, DNA damage, and caspase activity. Therefore, apoptosis in fresh or refrigerated ram spermatozoa can occur due to activation of both the extrinsic and the intrinsic mediated pathway, and SPP might interfere with both pathways. The addition of SPP also resulted in higher proportions of viable, noncapacitated sperm and fertilizing ability (ZBA rate). This report demonstrates that SPP support survival of ram spermatozoa acting not only at the plasma membrane but also by inhibition of capacitation, and proposes the possibility that SPP might interfere with the extrinsic and the intrinsic apoptotic pathways. This opens new, interesting perspectives for the study of cellular regulatory mechanisms in spermatozoa that could be crucial for the improvement of ram semen preservation protocols.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 88 • No. 6