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Correlations between Time-Dependent and Cytochalasin B Affected Sperm Entry in Voltage-Clamped Sea Urchin Eggs

  • John W. Lynn

Abstract

Sperm entry is only successful in approximately 15% of Lytechinus variegates eggs voltage-clamped at −70 mV, where as 100% of eggs voltage-clamped at −20 mV are penetrated by sperm (Lynn and Chambers 1984). Suppression of sperm penetration at −70 mV is reversible if the clamped egg membrane potential is stepped to −20 mV (a permissive potential for sperm entry). Sperm incorporation occurred in 50% of the eggs when the clamped potential was shifted at approximately 7.5s with an increasing percentage of penetrations as the time period from the sperm-initiated conductance increase to the time of the step was decreased. In the reciprocal experiments where the membrane potential was first clamped at −20 mV and then stepped to −70 mV at specific time points following a sperm-egg interaction, 50% of the eggs were penetrated at an average time of 10.4s with an increasing percentage of sperm incorporation occurring as the time to the step was increased. A similar failure of sperm penetration is induced by treating the sea urchin egg with cytochalasin B (cyto B) (Longo 1978; Schatten and Schatten 1980). Experiments with cyto B-pretreated eggs clamped at −20 mV (an otherwise permissive potential for sperm entry) revealed that not only is sperm entry blocked, but voltage-clamp current profiles associated with the failure of sperm entry at −70 mV were diagnostic of nonpermissive voltage-clamped potentials. In addition, localized FE elevation lifting the sperm from the surface of the egg was frequently observed (an event normally seen only at clamped potentials of −90 and −100 mV). One extended interpretation of these experiments is that microfilament polymerization is interrupted in both the cyto B experiments and in experiments where the egg is clamped at −70 mV and more negative potentials without cyto B treatments.

Keywords

Cortical Granule Sperm Penetration Fertilization Envelope Sperm Entry Lytechinus Variegatus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Lynn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology and PhysiologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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