Voltage-operated calcium channels in male germ cells

Suchitra Jagannathan, Stephen J. Publicover, Christopher L. R. Barratt (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The acrosome reaction is a key event in fertilization. Current models for induction of the acrosome reaction incorporate a necessary influx of Ca(2+), which is mediated by agonist-induced gating of ion channels in the sperm plasma membrane. The difficulty of applying electrophysiological techniques to spermatozoa has severely hampered studies on the expression of functional ion channels in these cells. However, during the last few years, a combination of molecular and physiological techniques (applied to immature spermatogenic cells) has elucidated both the expression of Ca(2+) channels in male germ cells and their role in induction of the acrosome reaction. It now appears that a range of voltage-operated Ca(2+) channels, similar to those that occur in somatic cells, is expressed in spermatozoa. Male rodent germ cells express a low-voltage activated (T-type) channel that is regulated by membrane potential and provides the primary Ca(2+) influx mechanism in zona pellucida-stimulated spermatozoa. In human spermatozoa, similar channels are apparently expressed, but their function in induction of the acrosome reaction has yet to be established. A range of other, high voltage-activated channels also appear to be present in rodent and human spermatozoa, but their roles are not yet known. In this review, the structure and characteristics of voltage-operated Ca(2+) channels are outlined and the evidence for their expression and function in male germ cells is assembled and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-215
Number of pages13
JournalReproduction
Volume123
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002

Fingerprint

Calcium Channels
Germ Cells
Spermatozoa
Acrosome Reaction
Rodentia
Ion Channel Gating
Zona Pellucida
Ion Channels
Fertilization
Membrane Potentials
Cell Membrane

Keywords

  • Acrosome Reaction/physiology
  • Animals
  • Calcium/metabolism
  • Calcium Channels/metabolism
  • Calcium Signaling/physiology
  • Cell Membrane/metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ion Channel Gating/physiology
  • Male
  • Mammals/metabolism
  • Progesterone/metabolism
  • Sperm Capacitation/physiology
  • Sperm-Ovum Interactions/physiology
  • Spermatozoa/metabolism
  • Zona Pellucida/metabolism

Cite this

Jagannathan, Suchitra ; Publicover, Stephen J. ; Barratt, Christopher L. R. / Voltage-operated calcium channels in male germ cells. In: Reproduction. 2002 ; Vol. 123, No. 2. pp. 203-215.
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Voltage-operated calcium channels in male germ cells. / Jagannathan, Suchitra; Publicover, Stephen J.; Barratt, Christopher L. R. (Lead / Corresponding author).

In: Reproduction, Vol. 123, No. 2, 02.2002, p. 203-215.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Voltage-operated calcium channels in male germ cells

AU - Jagannathan, Suchitra

AU - Publicover, Stephen J.

AU - Barratt, Christopher L. R.

PY - 2002/2

Y1 - 2002/2

N2 - The acrosome reaction is a key event in fertilization. Current models for induction of the acrosome reaction incorporate a necessary influx of Ca(2+), which is mediated by agonist-induced gating of ion channels in the sperm plasma membrane. The difficulty of applying electrophysiological techniques to spermatozoa has severely hampered studies on the expression of functional ion channels in these cells. However, during the last few years, a combination of molecular and physiological techniques (applied to immature spermatogenic cells) has elucidated both the expression of Ca(2+) channels in male germ cells and their role in induction of the acrosome reaction. It now appears that a range of voltage-operated Ca(2+) channels, similar to those that occur in somatic cells, is expressed in spermatozoa. Male rodent germ cells express a low-voltage activated (T-type) channel that is regulated by membrane potential and provides the primary Ca(2+) influx mechanism in zona pellucida-stimulated spermatozoa. In human spermatozoa, similar channels are apparently expressed, but their function in induction of the acrosome reaction has yet to be established. A range of other, high voltage-activated channels also appear to be present in rodent and human spermatozoa, but their roles are not yet known. In this review, the structure and characteristics of voltage-operated Ca(2+) channels are outlined and the evidence for their expression and function in male germ cells is assembled and discussed.

AB - The acrosome reaction is a key event in fertilization. Current models for induction of the acrosome reaction incorporate a necessary influx of Ca(2+), which is mediated by agonist-induced gating of ion channels in the sperm plasma membrane. The difficulty of applying electrophysiological techniques to spermatozoa has severely hampered studies on the expression of functional ion channels in these cells. However, during the last few years, a combination of molecular and physiological techniques (applied to immature spermatogenic cells) has elucidated both the expression of Ca(2+) channels in male germ cells and their role in induction of the acrosome reaction. It now appears that a range of voltage-operated Ca(2+) channels, similar to those that occur in somatic cells, is expressed in spermatozoa. Male rodent germ cells express a low-voltage activated (T-type) channel that is regulated by membrane potential and provides the primary Ca(2+) influx mechanism in zona pellucida-stimulated spermatozoa. In human spermatozoa, similar channels are apparently expressed, but their function in induction of the acrosome reaction has yet to be established. A range of other, high voltage-activated channels also appear to be present in rodent and human spermatozoa, but their roles are not yet known. In this review, the structure and characteristics of voltage-operated Ca(2+) channels are outlined and the evidence for their expression and function in male germ cells is assembled and discussed.

KW - Acrosome Reaction/physiology

KW - Animals

KW - Calcium/metabolism

KW - Calcium Channels/metabolism

KW - Calcium Signaling/physiology

KW - Cell Membrane/metabolism

KW - Female

KW - Humans

KW - Ion Channel Gating/physiology

KW - Male

KW - Mammals/metabolism

KW - Progesterone/metabolism

KW - Sperm Capacitation/physiology

KW - Sperm-Ovum Interactions/physiology

KW - Spermatozoa/metabolism

KW - Zona Pellucida/metabolism

U2 - 10.1530/rep.0.1230203

DO - 10.1530/rep.0.1230203

M3 - Review article

VL - 123

SP - 203

EP - 215

JO - Reproduction

JF - Reproduction

SN - 1470-1626

IS - 2

ER -