Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Effects of spermatozoa–oviductal cell coincubation time and oviductal cell age on spermatozoa–oviduct interactions

Ahmed Aldarmahi A , Sarah Elliott A , Jean Russell B and Alireza Fazeli A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Academic Unit of Reproductive and Developmental Medicine, University of Sheffield, Level 4, The Jessop Wing, Tree Root Walk, Sheffield S10 2SF, UK.

B Corporate and Computing Services, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S3 7RF, UK.

C Corresponding author. Email: a.fazeli@sheffield.ac.uk

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 26(2) 358-365 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD12222
Submitted: 10 July 2012  Accepted: 30 January 2013   Published: 4 April 2013

Abstract

The oviduct plays a crucial role in sperm storage, maintenance of sperm viability and sperm transport to the site of fertilisation. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of oviductal cell culture passage number, oviductal cell age and spermatozoa–oviduct coincubation times on gene expression in oviductal cells. Immortalised oviductal epithelial cells (OPEC) obtained from two different cell passages (36 and 57) were subcultured three times with and without spermatozoa for 24 h (control group). In a second study, OPEC were cocultured with spermatozoa for different time intervals (0, 4, 12 and 24 h). Expression of adrenomedullin (ADM), heat shock 70 kDa protein 8 (HSPA8) and prostaglandin E synthase (PGES) in OPEC was measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The expression of ADM and HSPA8 was decreased significantly in OPEC cells from Passage 57, particularly in the later subculture group. These effects on HSPA8, but not ADM, expression in OPEC were further altered after coculture with spermatozoa for 24 h. We also demonstrated that spermatozoa–oviduct coculture for 12 and 24 h resulted in significantly higher expression of ADM, HSPA8 and PGES in OPEC. Overall, the data suggest that the OPEC lose some of their properties as a result of oviductal cell aging and that there are spermatozoa–oviduct interactions leading to increased oviductal cell gene expression.

Additional keywords: immortalised epithelial cells, in vitro culture, real-time polymerase chain reaction, spermatozoa.


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