Calcium and Cyclic AMP Effects on Rabbit Epididymal Spermatozoa

  • Bayard T. Storey


The divalent cation Ca+2 plays a central role in many physiological processes through its control of many properties and functions of cell membranes (1, 2). Morita and Chang (3) have reported that Ca+2 was required to maintain the motility of hamster spermatozoa incubated at 37°C, but that the motility of guinea pig, rat and rabbit spermatozoa was maintained in the absence of this ion. Effects of Ca+2 on rabbit spermatozoa might be expected, since rabbit oviduct fluid contains about 2 mM Ca+2, as originally shown by Holmdahl and Mastroianni (4). Increased respiration by rabbit spermatozoa in rabbit oviduct fluid has been demonstrated (5, 6), but this has been attributed to HCO3 in the fluid. The effect of Ca+2 in this regard has never been assessed. We have shown in this laboratory (7, 8) a direct effect of Ca+2 on the mitochondria in hypotonically treated rabbit sperm cells in which mitochondria are intact and accessible to added reagents: respiration is increased as Ca+2 is taken up in an energy-linked process which competes rather poorly for the high energy intermediates of oxidative phosphorylation. The physiological significance of this mitochondrial Ca+2 uptake is as obscure for the sperm cell as it is for other mammalian cells in which the uptake is far more efficient (9–11).


Oxidative Phosphorylation Sperm Cell Pyridine Nucleotide Motile Cell Epididymal Sperm 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bayard T. Storey
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynecology, School of MedicineUniv. of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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