Navigation Links
Even when faint, ovary scent draws sperm cells

In this week's Analytical Chemistry, scientists at Indiana University Bloomington report biochemical machinery that allows mouse sperm cells to follow the weakest of scents. Even when ovary extracts were diluted 100,000 times, some sperm cells still found their mark.

A video demonstrating sperm chemotaxis (oriented motion in response to a chemical gradient) can be downloaded at http://www.iuinfo.indiana.edu/bem/media_relations/movie.chemotaxis.mpg(Credit: Stephen C. Jacobson, 2006).

"Sperm are known to exhibit chemotaxis toward extracts from various female reproductive organs, but the role of chemotaxis in reproduction is not known," said IUB Associate Professor of Chemistry Stephen C. Jacobson. "The chemicals that actually attract sperm have not been identified. Systematic study of various compounds released by the female reproductive organs under various conditions might further our understanding of these processes."

Understanding why, how and when sperm are attracted to ovaries may help scientists understand problems with human conception.

"Defects in sperm chemotaxis may be a cause of infertility, and consequently, sperm chemotaxis could potentially be used as a diagnostic tool to determine sperm quality or as a therapeutic procedure in male infertility," Jacobson said.

The project is a collaboration between research groups led by Jacobson and IUB Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Milos V. Novotny. Their work led to the development of a "flow-through" device, a sort of liquid treadmill for sperm cells, which allows researchers to follow the lateral movement of sperm as the cells swim through a liquid medium.

The device feeds three streams of liquid into a single chamber. Beyond the chamber, flows are split into three exit streams. Flow rate can be regulated simply by raising or lowering the height of the source medium, in thi s case a buffer solution. The researchers affixed a microscope and camera to the device and then recorded video of the sperm during assays.

"We combined in a microfluidic device the ability to generate a chemical gradient with transporting sperm cells to evaluate sperm chemotaxis," Jacobson said. "The use of microfluidic devices appears to be an ideal approach for precisely controlling the chemical gradient and accurately tracking chemotactic events. This combination led to greater repeatability in the experimental conditions over the course of the assays, which is currently not possible with conventional assays. These results are an important first step toward having an easy-to-use platform to rapidly evaluate and quantify chemotaxis."

The researchers hope their device will help other scientists more accurately examine the chemotaxis of all types of cells. The method also eliminates the phenomenon of "trapping," which causes study results to become ambiguous.

"The ability to differentiate chemotaxis from trapping helps to determine whether sperm were attracted to the test substance or the swim velocity was reduced close to the test substance," Jacobson said. "In the latter case, the test substance may have had a negative influence on the sperm, resulting in suppression of their movement."

Novotny is the Lilly Chemistry Alumni Chair in the Indiana University Bloomington Department of Chemistry, where he also directs the Institute for Pheromone Research.


'"/>

Source:Indiana University


Related biology news :

1. Animal models show that anabolic steroids flip the adolescent brains switch for aggression
2. Newly identified mechanism helps explain why people of African descent are more vulnerable to TB
3. New HIV study identifies high-risk subgroups of adolescents
4. Adolescent but not adult hamsters are more aggressive on low dose of fluoxetine
5. Scientists find hormone activity explains adolescent mood swings
6. MIT device draws cells close -- but not too close -- together
7. Environmental chemical cocktail may sabotage sperm
8. Human embryonic stem cells have the potential to develop into eggs and sperm in the laboratory
9. UK sperm donor crisis
10. Protein translation in sperm
11. How sperm crack the whip
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:6/22/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 22, 2016 ... of identity management and verification solutions, has ... cutting edge software solutions for Visitor Management, ... ® provides products that add functional ... The partnership provides corporations and venues with ...
(Date:6/21/2016)... , June 21, 2016 NuData ... the new role of principal product architect and ... the director of customer development. Both will report ... technical officer. The moves reflect NuData,s strategic growth ... response to high customer demand and customer focus ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... 16, 2016 The global ... to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, according ... Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in commercial ... to drive the market growth.      ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... just published their findings on what they believe could be a new and ... of the new research. Click here to read it now. , ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading ... was today awarded as one of the World ... world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering ... real world in the nutrition, health and consumer ... with customers including Fortune 500 companies to design ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader in clinical research ... Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, Mosio revisits the ... tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of how patients receive ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook ... Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their official ... Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic ... with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist ...
Breaking Biology Technology: