Cytoplasmic Droplets (cytoplasmic + droplet)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Surfing the wave, cycle, life history, and genes/proteins expressed by testicular germ cells.

Part 3: Developmental changes in spermatid flagellum, cytoplasmic droplet, egg plasma membrane, interaction of sperm with the zona pellucida
Abstract Spermiogenesis constitutes the steps involved in the metamorphosis of spermatids into spermatozoa. It involves modification of several organelles in addition to the formation of several structures including the flagellum and cytoplasmic droplet. The flagellum is composed of a neck region and middle, principal, and end pieces. The axoneme composed of nine outer microtubular doublets circularly arranged to form a cylinder around a central pair of microtubules is present throughout the flagellum. The middle and principal pieces each contain specific components such as the mitochondrial sheath and fibrous sheath, respectively, while outer dense fibers are common to both. A plethora of proteins are constituents of each of these structures, with each playing key roles in functions related to the fertility of spermatozoa. At the end of spermiogenesis, a portion of spermatid cytoplasm remains associated with the released spermatozoa, referred to as the cytoplasmic droplet. The latter has as its main feature Golgi saccules, which appear to modify the plasma membrane of spermatozoa as they move down the epididymal duct and hence may be partly involved in male gamete maturation. The end product of spermatogenesis is highly streamlined and motile spermatozoa having a condensed nucleus equipped with an acrosome. Spermatozoa move through the female reproductive tract and eventually penetrate the zona pellucida and bind to the egg plasma membrane. Many proteins have been implicated in the process of fertilization as well as a plethora of proteins involved in the development of spermatids and sperm, and these are high lighted in this review. Microsc. Res. Tech., 2010. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Effects of varicocele upon the expression of apoptosis-related proteins

ANDROLOGIA, Issue 4 2010
F.-W. Chang
Summary Varicocele-associated apoptosis has been recognised as a cause of male infertility. Thus, we assessed the expression of somatic apoptosis-related proteins (the typical protein-dependent apoptosis markers) in ejaculated sperm plasma from both patients with varicocele and normal donors. We evaluated the relationships between certain apoptosis-related proteins and normal semen quality. Semen samples were obtained from 25 patients with varicocele and from 10 normal fertile controls. These samples were compared using computer-assisted semen analysis for motion parameters and manual analysis for morphology, and were also assayed for apoptosis-related protein activation including caspase-3, poly-ACP-ribose polymerase (PARP), the Bcl-2 family (Bcl-2, Bak) and p53 by means of immunoblot analysis. PARP, Bak and p53 were expressed substantially more in the sperm cells of the varicocele group when compared with the normal group (P < 0.05). The expression of caspase-3 and Bcl-2 did not appear to differ between these two study groups. An increased expression of PARP, Bak and p53 for varicocele-afflicted individuals indicated an increased participation by these agents in the regulating of apoptosis in the ejaculated semen from patients with varicocele, suggesting that certain protein-development apoptotic mechanisms might originate in the cytoplasmic droplet or within mitochondria of spermatocytes and then might function within the nucleus of the cell. [source]

Advanced glycation end products accumulate in the reproductive tract of men with diabetes

C. Mallidis
Summary Light microscopic studies comparing sperm parameters show little association between diabetes and male fertility. However, with the introduction of new analytical techniques, evidence is now emerging of previously undetectable effects of diabetes on sperm function. Specifically, a recent study has found a significantly higher sperm nuclear DNA fragmentation in diabetic men. As advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are important instigators of oxidative stress and cell dysfunction in numerous diabetic complications, we hypothesized that these compounds could also be present in the male reproductive tract. The presence and localization of the most prominent AGE, carboxymethyl-lysine (CML), in the human testis, epididymis and sperm was determined by immunohistochemistry. Parallel ELISA and Western blot analyses were performed to ascertain the amount of CML in seminal plasma and sperm from 13 diabetic and nine non-diabetic subjects. CML immunoreactivity was found throughout the seminiferous epithelium, the nuclei of spermatogonia and spermatocytes, in the basal and principle cells cytoplasm and nuclei of the caput epididymis and on most sperm tails, mid pieces and all cytoplasmic droplets. The acrosomal cap, especially the equatorial band, was prominently stained in diabetic samples only. The amount of CML was significantly higher (p = 0.004) in sperm from non-diabetic men. Considering the known detrimental actions of AGEs in other organs, the presence, location and quantity of CML, particularly the increased expression found in diabetic men, suggest that these compounds may play a hitherto unrecognized role in male infertility. [source]

The Origin of Membrane Vesicles in Ram Seminal Plasma

R El-Hajj Ghaoui
Contents The hypothesis tested in this study was that the membrane vesicles present in ram seminal plasma are of testicular origin, rather than being secreted by the accessory sex glands as has been previously reported for a number of species. Membrane vesicles were present in cellular extracts from reproductive organs and accessory sex glands of six rams, and in the seminal plasma of a further eight rams. When four of the latter rams were subjected to vasectomy, to isolate ejaculate contents to only the secretions of the accessory sex glands, the vesicles were largely eliminated from their ejaculates, while vesicles were still present in the ejaculates of the four control rams. The constituents of the cytoplasmic droplets and membrane vesicles derived from the seminal plasma were compared by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Vesicles present in the cytoplasmic droplets were similar in morphology but smaller on average than those in the seminal plasma. It was concluded that the membrane vesicles in ram seminal plasma originate from either the cytoplasmic droplets, or a combination of vesicles from the droplets and the epididymis. [source]

Studying ion channels in undergraduate laboratories

Ashley Garrill
Abstract This article describes an undergraduate laboratory that introduces students to ion channels and patch clamp electrophysiology. It is given in conjunction with third year biochemistry lectures on membrane transport proteins and utilises cytoplasmic droplets from Characean algae. These droplets are very easily obtainable (the typical preparation time is around ten minutes). contain abundant channel activity and significantly, readily form the high electrical resistance seals that are required for resolution of single channel events. Most students have been able to observe electrical events that are the result of conformational changes in single protein molecules. When the students are not patch clamping they are set a problem that requires them to devise a model of how several different types of channel might interact to produce a cellular response to osmotic challenge. 2001 IUBMB. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. [source]