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Special Issue "Molecular Mechanisms of Sperm Activation"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Manabu Yoshida
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Misaki Marine Biological Station, School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Kanagawa 238-0225, Japan
Interests: Mechanisms of Fertilization; Sperm chemotaxis; Capacitation and Hyperactivation; Seminal Plasma protein; Male infertility

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Spermatozoa in the testes are still immature, unable to move, and not fertile, even though spermatogenesis and spermiogenesis are completed. After ejaculation or spawning of semen, sperm acquire motility and fertility and can accomplish fertilization. This process is often species-specific in animals characterized by external fertilization and allows successful conspecific fertilization. Sperm activation in many animals including mammals occurs through common molecular mechanisms, whose elucidation is important to distinguish shared pathways of fertilization from species-specific authentication mechanisms.

This Special Issue will focus on the different aspects of sperm activation: initiation and activation of sperm motility, guidance of sperm swimming (including sperm chemotaxis), capacitation and hyperactivation, and induction of the acrosome reaction. It intends to create a platform for up-to-date high-quality publications on sperm activation during fertilization. Studies on the regulation mechanisms of sperm flagellar motility, the role of ion channels such as CatSper in sperm activation, the identification of molecules mediating sperm activation, etc., are welcome. We also welcome articles on applied research based on sperm activation, concerning, for example, livestock breeding, aquaculture technology, and male infertility. We hope that this Special Issue will provide a broad view of spermatology, from basic biology in marine invertebrates to reproductive medicine, fostering new research in reproductive biology areas.

Dr. Manabu Yoshida
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sperm motility
  • Flagellar beating
  • Capacitation and hyperactivation
  • Sperm guidance
  • Acrosome reaction
  • Seminal plasma
  • Ovarian fluid
  • Sperm-egg interaction
  • Asthenozoospermia

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Does the Rainbow Trout Ovarian Fluid Promote the Spermatozoon on Its Way to the Egg?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(17), 9519; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22179519 - 01 Sep 2021
Viewed by 477
Abstract
The fertilization of freshwater fish occurs in an environment that may negatively affect the gametes; therefore, the specific mechanisms triggering the encounters of gametes would be highly expedient. The egg and ovarian fluid are likely the major sources of these triggers, which we [...] Read more.
The fertilization of freshwater fish occurs in an environment that may negatively affect the gametes; therefore, the specific mechanisms triggering the encounters of gametes would be highly expedient. The egg and ovarian fluid are likely the major sources of these triggers, which we confirmed here for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The ovarian fluid affected significantly spermatozoa performance: it supported high velocity for a longer period and changed the motility pattern from tumbling in water to straightforward moving in the ovarian fluid. Rainbow trout ovarian fluid induced a trapping chemotaxis-like effect on activated male gametes, and this effect depended on the properties of the activating medium. The interaction of the spermatozoa with the attracting agents was accompanied by the “turn-and-run” behavior involving asymmetric flagellar beating and Ca2+ concentration bursts in the bent flagellum segment, which are characteristic of the chemotactic response. Ovarian fluid created the optimal environment for rainbow trout spermatozoa performance, and the individual peculiarities of the egg (ovarian fluid)–sperm interaction reflect the specific features of the spawning process in this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Sperm Activation)
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Article
In Silico Reconstruction of Sperm Chemotaxis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(17), 9104; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22179104 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 539
Abstract
In echinoderms, sperm swims in random circles and turns in response to a chemoattractant. The chemoattractant evokes transient Ca2+ influx in the sperm flagellum and induces turning behavior. Recently, the molecular mechanisms and biophysical properties of this sperm response have been clarified. [...] Read more.
In echinoderms, sperm swims in random circles and turns in response to a chemoattractant. The chemoattractant evokes transient Ca2+ influx in the sperm flagellum and induces turning behavior. Recently, the molecular mechanisms and biophysical properties of this sperm response have been clarified. Based on these experimental findings, in this study, we reconstructed a sperm model in silico to demonstrate an algorithm for sperm chemotaxis. We also focused on the importance of desensitizing the chemoattractant receptor in long-range chemotaxis because sperm approach distantly located eggs, and they must sense the chemoattractant concentration over a broad range. Using parameters of the sea urchin, simulations showed that a number of sperm could reach the egg from millimeter-order distances with desensitization, indicating that we could organize a functional sperm model, and that desensitization of the receptor is essential for sperm chemotaxis. Then, we compared the model with starfish sperm, which has a different desensitization scheme and analyzed the properties of the model against various disturbances. Our approach can be applied as a novel tool in chemotaxis research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Sperm Activation)
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Article
Occurrence of Calcium Oscillations in Human Spermatozoa Is Based on Spatial Signaling Enzymes Distribution
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(15), 8018; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22158018 - 27 Jul 2021
Viewed by 412
Abstract
In human spermatozoa, calcium dynamics control most of fertilization events. Progesterone, present in the female reproductive system, can trigger several types of calcium responses, such as low-frequency oscillations. Here we aimed to identify the mechanisms of progesterone-induced calcium signaling in human spermatozoa. Progesterone-induced [...] Read more.
In human spermatozoa, calcium dynamics control most of fertilization events. Progesterone, present in the female reproductive system, can trigger several types of calcium responses, such as low-frequency oscillations. Here we aimed to identify the mechanisms of progesterone-induced calcium signaling in human spermatozoa. Progesterone-induced activation of fluorophore-loaded spermatozoa was studied by fluorescent microscopy. Two computational models were developed to describe the spermatozoa calcium responses: a homogeneous one based on a system of ordinary differential equations and a three-dimensional one with added space dimensions and diffusion for the cytosolic species. In response to progesterone, three types of calcium responses were observed in human spermatozoa: a single transient rise of calcium concentration in cytosol, a steady elevation, or low-frequency oscillations. The homogenous model provided qualitative description of the oscillatory and the single spike responses, while the three-dimensional model captured the calcium peak shape and the frequency of calcium oscillations. The model analysis demonstrated that an increase in the calcium diffusion coefficient resulted in the disappearance of the calcium oscillations. Additionally, in silico analysis suggested that the spatial distribution of calcium signaling enzymes governs the appearance of calcium oscillations in progesterone-activated human spermatozoa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Sperm Activation)
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Communication
The Organization of the Golgi Structures during Drosophila Male Meiosis Requires the Citrate Lyase ATPCL
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(11), 5745; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22115745 - 27 May 2021
Viewed by 836
Abstract
During spermatogenesis, the Golgi apparatus serves important roles including the formation of the acrosome, which is a sperm-specific organelle essential for fertilization. We have previously demonstrated that D. melanogaster ATP-dependent Citrate Lyase (ATPCL) is required for spindle organization, cytokinesis, and fusome assembly during [...] Read more.
During spermatogenesis, the Golgi apparatus serves important roles including the formation of the acrosome, which is a sperm-specific organelle essential for fertilization. We have previously demonstrated that D. melanogaster ATP-dependent Citrate Lyase (ATPCL) is required for spindle organization, cytokinesis, and fusome assembly during male meiosis, mainly due to is activity on fatty acid biosynthesis. Here, we show that depletion of DmATPCL also affects the organization of acrosome and suggest a role for this enzyme in the assembly of Golgi-derived structures during Drosophila spermatogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Mechanisms of Sperm Activation)
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