Binding of rat and ovine epididymis-specific prealbumins (PES) to rat spermatozoa without effect of heterologous immunization on rat fertility

S. Fournier-Delpech, L. M. Lewin, Y. Oschry, Y. Combarnous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The epididymis, under control of testosterone, secretes proteins which bind to the membrane of the spermatozoa during their passage through the lumen. One such class is termed PES (prealbumin epididymal specific). Injection of heterologous oPES (ovine PES) into male rats caused antibody production but failed to induce sterility, unlike results previously obtained when rat PES was injected into male rats. This suggests that only very restricted species-specific epitopes of PES might be useful for causing immunocontraception. Despite this, the sperm binding properties of PES purified from the rat (rat PES) and from the ram (oPES) were shown to be similar. When either rat PES or oPES, conjugated with a fluorescent probe (dimethylamino-fluorescein), was incubated with washed rat spermatozoa originating from the caput, corpus or cauda epididymis, results of flow cytometric analysis showed: (1) the number of spermatozoa bound to isologous or heterologous fluorescent PES, and (2) the binding-affinity of spermatozoa for PES was greater for sperm collected from more distal sites in the epididymis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-489
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1997

Keywords

  • Epididymis
  • Fertility
  • Heterologous immunization
  • Specific-protein
  • Spermatozoa
  • o- PES

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