In vitro studies of the golden hamster sperm acrosome reaction: completion on the zona pellucida and induction by homologous soluble zonae pellucidae.
We have studied the occurrence of the golden hamster sperm acrosome reaction (AR) in vitro during interaction with the oocyte investments: the cumulus cell matrix and the zona pellucida. Hamster sperm were capacitated in a defined medium that does not induce the AR. These spermatozoa were allowed to interact with the ovum vestments, the events of which were recorded using high-speed videomicrography. Frame-by-frame analysis revealed that sperm did not complete the AR in the cumulus cell matrix, but did so on the zona pellucida. Furthermore, a higher percentage of sperm completed the AR on the zona pellucida of cumulus-invested than on cumulus-free eggs. We also investigated the effect of solubilized hamster and mouse zonae pellucidae on the hamster sperm AR. Addition of solubilized hamster zonae to capacitated sperm elicited the AR within 15 min. Solubilized mouse zonae were significantly less effective, indicating that the zona-induced AR in hamster sperm may be species specific. These results suggest that the hamster zona pellucida is an inducer of the AR in the intact or soluble form, and that the majority of spermatozoa traverse the cumulus cell matrix without completing the AR in our in vitro system.
Cherr, GN; Lambert, H; Meizel, S; Katz, DF
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