Author(s): Aquila S, Giordano F, Guido C, Rago V, Carpino A
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule produced by intracellular nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes. This free radical appears to affect sperm capacitation, a maturation step preceding acrosome reaction. Recent studies have reported leptin ability to promote capacitation and acrosome reaction in pig male gametes. METHODS: This study has investigated nitric oxide production in leptin-treated pig spermatozoa by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, while the intracellular NOS isoforms were assessed by Western blot analysis. In addition, acrosome status of treated-spermatozoa was evaluated by FITC-PNA staining. RESULTS: Significant increases of nitric oxide levels and acrosome reaction extent were detected in leptin-treated spermatozoa, but both the effects were reversed in presence of L-NAME. Furthermore, the immunoblots of sperm extracts have evidenced three bands of ~160 Kd(bNOS), ~130 Kd (iNOS) and ~135 Kd (eNOS). CONCLUSIONS: The identification of the three intracellular NOS isoforms suggests that pig spermatozoa could produce NO, while the augmented nitric oxide levels in leptin-treated male gametes indicates the capacity of the hormone to induce nitric oxide production. Furthermore, the inhibitory effect of L-NAME and of Ab-ObR on the promotion of acrosome reaction triggered by leptin suggests a possible involvement of NO in the hormone action.
This article was published in Reprod Biol Endocrinol
and referenced in Andrology-Open Access