University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Gazo I is a 4th year PhD student at the University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic. Her PhD topic is “The role of reactive oxygen species and protein phosphorylation in fish sperm”. During her PhD studies, she published, as a first author, two manuscripts describing the influence of environmentally relevant concentrations of vinclozolin on sterlet (Acipeser ruthenus) spermatozoa and the effect of reactive oxygen species on carp (Cyprinuscarpio L.) sperm and co-authored 6 publications in the same field.
Among endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), the xenoestrogen bisphenol A (BPA) deserves particular attention due to its widespread human and wildlife exposure. Besides hormonal effects, BPA has been suspected to be responsible for adverse effects on reproductive ability of various species. In most fish species, during natural reproduction, sperm is released to external environment that contains pollutants, such as BPA, affecting spermatozoa functions. Spermatozoa are highly specialized, transcriptionally inactive cells, and its major function is delivery of paternal DNA into the oocyte. Therefore motility and DNA integrity are the main prerequisites of successful fertilization. Most of the processes in spermatozoa are regulated by osmotic/ionic signaling and protein post-translational modifications, such as protein phosphorylation. Thus negative effects of water pollutants on sperm physiology can lead to significant reduction in biodiversity which can be crucial for sturgeons as endangered species. In the present study, we used the small sturgeon (Acipenser ruthenus) sperm to investigate in vitro the potential deleterious effects of endocrine disrupt or bisphenol A on spermatozoa physiology, DNA integrity, phosphatase activity and protein phosphorylation pattern. The result of this study showed that even at low doses (down to 1 μM), BPA could decrease sturgeon sperm motility and velocity, induce DNA fragmentation and change the pattern of protein phosphorylation. BPA was also shown to induce oxidative stress in sturgeon spermatozoa. Based on the obtained results, the use of in vitro sperm assays may provide a novel and efficient means for evaluating the effect of xenobiotics in aquatic environment on sturgeon.
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