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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Pelaez, Jesus
item Long, Julie

Submitted to: American Society of Andrology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/12/2005
Publication Date: 4/2/2005
Citation: Pelaez, J., Long, J.A. 2005. Lectin characterization of membrane surface carbohydrates in poultry spermatozoa [abstract]. American Society of Andrology Meeting. 26(2) Suppl. 1:58.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The surface glycoconjugates of mammalian sperm cells have been shown to be critical components of reproduction, including maintenance of the oviductal sperm reservoir and sperm-egg binding. In contrast, the glycocalyx of poultry spermatozoa has not been well characterized. Our objective was to determine the morphological distribution of sugar residues along the plasma membrane of turkey and chicken spermatozoa. For each species, weekly semen samples from 3 males were pooled. Seminal plasma was removed, and the spermatozoa were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde (30 min; room temperature) prior to lectin staining. Fixed sperm were air-dried on slides and stained with 1 of 14 different FITC-conjugated lectins (100 ug/mL; 30 min; room temperature) to localize the distribution of the 7 different saccharide groups by epifluorescence. Lectin staining was replicated 3 times for each species, using the same donor males. In both species, -fucose (Lotus, UEA-I lectins), N-Acetyllactosamine (ECA lectin), -mannose and -glucose (GNA, Con A, PSA lectins) were detected only in the plasma membrane overlying the head region. In contrast, and -N-Acetylgalactosamine (SBA, WFA lectins), and -Galactose (RCA-I, GS-I lectins), and both dimers and oligomers of -N-Acetylglucosamine (STA, succinyl-WGA lectins) were distributed mainly along the acrosome region. Sialic acid residues (LFA lectin) were distributed along the entire cell surface in both species. Notable differences between species included: 1) -N-Acetylgalactosamine and -galactose were not found on the head region of chicken sperm; and 2) -N-Acetylglucosamine monomers were not present on the acrosome region of chicken sperm. These findings suggest that segregation of surface molecules to specific morphological zones of the sperm appears also to exist in birds as reported in mammals.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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