Role of carbohydrates in the attachment of equine spermatozoa to uterine tubal (oviductal) epithelial cells in vitro

I. Dobrinski From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine (Dobrinski, Thomas. Ball), and Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Ignotz), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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 Dr med vet, MVSc
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G. G. Ignotz From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine (Dobrinski, Thomas. Ball), and Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Ignotz), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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P. G. A. Thomas From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine (Dobrinski, Thomas. Ball), and Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Ignotz), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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B. A. Ball From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine (Dobrinski, Thomas. Ball), and Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (Ignotz), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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 DVM, PhD

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Abstract

Objective

To test the hypotheses that the attachment of equine spermatozoa to uterine tubal (oviductal) epithelial cells (OEC) in vitro is mediated by glycoproteins, and that proteins with carbohydrate-binding properties are present in the periacrosomal plasma membrane of equine spermatozoa.

Animals

4 reproductively sound stallions, and 1 mare in estrus.

Procedures

In experiment 1a, fluorescent-labeled spermatozoa were cocultured with monolayers of OEC in the presence of 50 mM glucose, fructose, galactose, mannose, N-acetyl glucosamine, N-acetyl galactosamine, or N-acetyl neuraminic acid, or 10 mg of fetuin or asialofetuin/ml in modified Tyrode's solution (TALP), or in TALP alone. After 2 hours of coculture, numbers of attached spermatozoa were counted by fluorescence microscopy and analysis of digitized images. In experiment 1b, progressive motility, viability, acrosomal integrity, and capacitation status were determined in spermatozoa incubated for 2 hours in the presence of the respective monosaccharides and glycoproteins or in TALP alone. In experiment 2, proteins isolated from the periacrosomal plasma membrane of equine spermatozoa were subjected to galactose affinity chromatography and subsequent one-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and silver staining.

Results

Numbers of spermatozoa attached to OEC were reduced (P < 0.05) after all treatments except N-acetyl glucosamine, compared with incubation in TALP alone. The lowest numbers of spermatozoa were bound in cultures incubated in the presence of galactose and asialofetuin. Spermatozoal motility was lower (P < 0.05) after incubation for 2 hours in the presence of fetuin, compared with control, and incubation in the presence of fetuin or asialofetuin caused a significant (P < 0.05) increase in the percentage of capacitated spermatozoa, compared with control. Affinity chromatography of periacrosomal plasma membrane proteins revealed a galactose-binding protein of about 66 kd.

Conclusion

Recognition of glycoconjugates with exposed galactosyl residues on OEC by galactose-binding proteins on the periacrosomal plasma membrane of equine spermatozoa could mediate the attachment of equine spermatozoa to OEC in vitro. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1635–1639)

Abstract

Objective

To test the hypotheses that the attachment of equine spermatozoa to uterine tubal (oviductal) epithelial cells (OEC) in vitro is mediated by glycoproteins, and that proteins with carbohydrate-binding properties are present in the periacrosomal plasma membrane of equine spermatozoa.

Animals

4 reproductively sound stallions, and 1 mare in estrus.

Procedures

In experiment 1a, fluorescent-labeled spermatozoa were cocultured with monolayers of OEC in the presence of 50 mM glucose, fructose, galactose, mannose, N-acetyl glucosamine, N-acetyl galactosamine, or N-acetyl neuraminic acid, or 10 mg of fetuin or asialofetuin/ml in modified Tyrode's solution (TALP), or in TALP alone. After 2 hours of coculture, numbers of attached spermatozoa were counted by fluorescence microscopy and analysis of digitized images. In experiment 1b, progressive motility, viability, acrosomal integrity, and capacitation status were determined in spermatozoa incubated for 2 hours in the presence of the respective monosaccharides and glycoproteins or in TALP alone. In experiment 2, proteins isolated from the periacrosomal plasma membrane of equine spermatozoa were subjected to galactose affinity chromatography and subsequent one-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and silver staining.

Results

Numbers of spermatozoa attached to OEC were reduced (P < 0.05) after all treatments except N-acetyl glucosamine, compared with incubation in TALP alone. The lowest numbers of spermatozoa were bound in cultures incubated in the presence of galactose and asialofetuin. Spermatozoal motility was lower (P < 0.05) after incubation for 2 hours in the presence of fetuin, compared with control, and incubation in the presence of fetuin or asialofetuin caused a significant (P < 0.05) increase in the percentage of capacitated spermatozoa, compared with control. Affinity chromatography of periacrosomal plasma membrane proteins revealed a galactose-binding protein of about 66 kd.

Conclusion

Recognition of glycoconjugates with exposed galactosyl residues on OEC by galactose-binding proteins on the periacrosomal plasma membrane of equine spermatozoa could mediate the attachment of equine spermatozoa to OEC in vitro. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1635–1639)

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