An investigation using lectins of glycocomponents of mouse spermatozoa during capacitation and sperm-zona binding

S. H. Lee, K. K. Ahuja

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Ten different lectins conjugated to fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) were used to study the distribution of surface carbohydrates on mouse spermatozoa, and to monitor the possible changes of their distribution during capacitation in vitro and sperm-egg interaction. Most of the lectins gave a restricted pattern of binding to fixed or unfixed epididymal spermatozoa. Binding was highly specific because no staining occurred in the presence of appropriate monosaccharides. Binding of UEA I, DBA and Con A was unaffected by the type of fixative used, but it was influenced by mild centrifugation. While unwashed spermatozoa showed binding mainly over the acrosomal cap and equatorial or postacrosomal regions, spermatozoa washed by mild centrifugation showed a change in the staining of the equatorial segment. Binding of 5 different lectins to spermatozoa did not change during capacitation in vitro. In contrast, capacitated spermatozoa bound to the zona pellucida exhibited a UEA I binding pattern which was strikingly different from that of the capacitated but unbound spermatozoa. We conclude that glycocomponents of specific regions of mouse spermatozoa do not change dramatically during capacitation, but do alter significantly during binding to the zona pellucida.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Reproduction and Fertility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987 Jan 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Embryology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Developmental Biology

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