Journal of Human Reproductive Science
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 163-164

Recent advances in physiological priming of spermatozoa

University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication23-Dec-2010

Correspondence Address:
Satendra Singh
University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi - 110 095
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-1208.74167

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How to cite this article:
Singh S. Recent advances in physiological priming of spermatozoa. J Hum Reprod Sci 2010;3:163-4

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Singh S. Recent advances in physiological priming of spermatozoa. J Hum Reprod Sci [serial online] 2010 [cited 2021 Sep 21];3:163-4. Available from:


The molecular mechanisms implicated in the initiation of capacitation are poorly understood, and the review by Sheriff and Ali made an interesting read. [1] However, the review quoted only one citation after 2002 and as such few promising articles were inadvertently missed.

It would have been interesting to include Travis and Kopf's lipid-poor model for cholesterol efflux. [2] Recent investigators have put forward an expansion of Travis and Kopf's lipid exchange model for the delivery of Glycosyl phosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked proteins to sperm membranes through clusterin (CLU). [3] CLU has been implicated in lipid efflux from the sperm plasma membrane during capacitation. Its role in removal and delivery of SPAM1 has physiological relevance and could lead to successful fertilization by the addition of relevant GPI-linked proteins. A further breakthrough was identifying the missing link between protein kinase A phosphorylation and cholesterol efflux as apolipoprotein A-I binding protein. [4]

Proteomic analysis on detergent-resistant membranes of sperm cells indicated that capacitation induces a lipid raft concentration, [5] rather than a disintegration of lipid rafts as earlier thought. The precise signaling mechanism has remained elusive, but recent reviews have elucidated possible mechanisms concerned in regulating sperm capacitation and the acrosome reaction. [6],[7]

Within the female genital tract, spermatozoa interact with four glycoforms before fertilizing the oocyte. [8] Understanding of these recently found glycodelins may facilitate development of novel strategies for fertility regulation [Table 1].
Table 1 :Glycodelin isoforms affecting capacitation

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Finally, olfaction plays a critical role in sperm chemotaxis. The first evidence in favor of this hypothesis was provided by the identification of hOR17-4, a testicular olfactory receptor mediating human sperm chemotaxis in various bioassays. [9] Subsequent finding of mOR23 in mouse sperm confirmed olfactory-like signaling mechanisms in mammalian sperm. [10] This odorant-receptor-mediated signaling 'could set the stage for pioneering future applications in procreation and/or contraception.' [9]

   References Top

1.Sheriff DS, Ali EF. Perspective on plasma membrane cholesterol efflux and spermatozoal function. J Hum Reprod Sci 2010;3:68-75.  Back to cited text no. 1
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2.Travis AJ, Kopf GS. The role of cholesterol efflux in regulating the fertilization potential of mammalian spermatozoa. J Clin Invest 2002;110:731-6.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Griffiths GS, Galileo DS, Aravindan RG, Martin-DeLeon PA. Clusterin facilitates exchange of glycosyl phosphatidylinositol-linked SPAM1 between reproductive luminal fluids and mouse and human sperm membranes. Biol Reprod 2009;81:562-70.   Back to cited text no. 3
4.Jha KN, Shumilin IA, Digilio LC, Chertihin O, Zheng H, Schmitz G, et al. Biochemical and structural characterization of apolipoprotein A-I binding protein, a novel phosphoprotein with a potential role in sperm capacitation. Endocrinology 2008;149:2108-20.   Back to cited text no. 4
5.Sleight SB, Miranda PV, Plaskett NW, Maier B, Lysiak J, Scrable H, et al. Isolation and proteomic analysis of mouse sperm detergent-resistant membrane fractions: Evidence for dissociation of lipid rafts during capacitation. Biol Reprod 2005;73:721-9.   Back to cited text no. 5
6.Abou-haila A, Tulsiani DR. Signal transduction pathways that regulate sperm capacitation and the acrosome reaction. Arch Biochem Biophys 2009;485:72-81.   Back to cited text no. 6
7.Gong W, Xiao H. Molecular mechanism implicated in the initiation of capacitation. Zhonghua Nan Ke Xue 2003;9:693-6.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Yeung WS, Lee KF, Koistinen R, Koistinen H, Seppδlδ M, Chiu PC. Effects of glycodelins on functional competence of spermatozoa. J Reprod Immunol 2009;83:26-30.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Spehr M, Schwane K, Riffell JA, Zimmer RK, Hatt H. Odorant receptors and olfactory-like signaling mechanisms in mammalian sperm. Mol Cell Endocrinol 2006;250:128-36.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Spehr M, Hatt H. hOR17-4 as a potential therapeutic target. Drug News Perspect 2004;17:165-71.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Table 1]


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