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

Soluble adenylyl cyclase is required for activation of sperm but does not have a direct effect on hyperactivation

Becky Marquez A and Susan S. Suarez A B

A Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

B Corresponding author. Email: sss7@cornell.edu

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 20(2) 247-252 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RD07146
Submitted: 5 September 2007  Accepted: 12 October 2007   Published: 4 January 2008

Abstract

Soluble adenylyl cyclase (SACY) is an essential component of cAMP-signalling cascades that activate sperm motility and capacitate sperm. SACY activity is stimulated by HCO3 and Ca2+. Sperm from Sacy–/– (null) mice were immotile or weakly motile, but cAMP analogues N6,2′-O-dibutyryladenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate (dbcAMP) and adenosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate acetoxymethyl ester (cAMP-AM) activated motility. Null sperm activated by dbcAMP quickly developed hairpin bends at the junction of the midpiece and principal piece, which could be prevented by omitting HCO3. Treating Sacy–/– sperm with thimerosal or NH4Cl to raise flagellar cytoplasmic Ca2+ could not substitute for cAMP analogues in activating motility; however, sperm activated with cAMP-AM hyperactivated after thimerosal treatment. Treating activated wild-type sperm with SACY inhibitor KH7 did not prevent hyperactivation from developing during capacitation in vitro, although high doses impaired motility. These results indicate that, while the SACY/cAMP signalling pathway is required for motility activation, it is not directly involved in triggering hyperactivation.

Additional keyword: sperm motility.


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