Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary In order to study the acrosome reaction in boar, spermatozoa were incubated in a calcium-containing medium in the presence of the calcium ionophore A23187. The time course of the acrosome reaction was assessed by phasecontrast microscopy and correlated with the movement characteristics of the spermatozoa determined by means of multiple-exposure photography (MEP). Different stages of the acrosome reaction could be observed by indirect immunofluorescence using an antibody fraction raised in rabbits against the isolated outer acrosomal membrane (OAM). At the start of the acrosome reaction, a bright fluorescence located exclusively at the acrosomal cap of the sperm head could be observed, whereas after 60–120 min, the fluorescence vanished, indicating the complete loss of the OAM. However, to gain more insight into the stages of the plasma membrane and OAM during the acrosome reaction, immunoelectron-microscopical studies were performed using anti-OAM antibodies detected by the protein-A gold method. Ultrathin sections and total preparations in combination with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) confirmed, that boar spermatozoa start their acrosome reaction by a vesiculation of the plasma membrane, thus exposing the heavily labelled OAM, which is then lost as sheets or large vesicles. The newly exposed inner acrosomal membrane did not show any labelling with gold, thereby indicating clear differences in the antigenicity of both acrosomal membranes.
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