Changes in chromatin condensation of human spermatozoa during epididymal transit as determined by flow cytometry

R. Golan*, T. G. Cooper, Y. Oschry, F. Oberpenning, H. Schulze, L. Shochat, L. M. Lewin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Inasmuch as caput epididymal and even testicular spermatozoa are now being used to generate pregnancies by direct injection into the oocyte, differences in the chromatin of spermatozoa from proximal and distal locations in the epididymis were studied. Acridine Orange staining was used to investigate chromatin structure in human spermatozoa which had left the testis and were undergoing maturation in the epididymis. Measurement of green and red fluorescence intensities of human spermatozoa by flow cytometry demonstrated a decrease in binding of Acridine Orange to DNA as the spermatozoa traversed the epididymis. Using spermatozoa from the cauda epididymis as the standard, the percentages of spermatozoa from the efferent duct, proximal corpus epididymis, midcorpus epididymis, distal corpus epididymis, proximal cauda epididymis and distal cauda epididymis that had matured with regard to chromatin condensation were 28 ± 5, 39 ± 3, 49 ± 5, 64 ± 5, 69 ± 6 and 74 ± 4% respectively. It may be concluded that eggs fertilized by ejaculated spermatozoa receive a more highly condensed form of chromatin than that received by eggs inseminated with proximal epididymal or testicular spermatozoa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1457-1462
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Reproduction
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1996

Keywords

  • Acridine Orange
  • Chromatin condensation
  • Epididymis
  • Flow cytometry
  • Human spermatozoa

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