Shoji A. Baba

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To fuse with oocytes, spermatozoa of eutherian mammals must pass through extracellular coats, the cumulus cell layer, and the zona pellucida (ZP). It is generally believed that the acrosome reaction (AR) of spermatozoa, essential for zona penetration and fusion with oocytes, is triggered by sperm contact with the zona pellucida. Therefore, in most previous(More)
A hallmark of neurogenesis in the vertebrate brain is the apical-basal nuclear oscillation in polarized neural progenitor cells. Known as interkinetic nuclear migration (INM), these movements are synchronized with the cell cycle such that nuclei move basally during G1-phase and apically during G2-phase. However, it is unknown how the direction of movement(More)
Ca(2+) is known to have important roles in sperm chemotaxis, although the relationship between intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) and modulation of the swimming and chemotactic behavior of spermatozoa has not been elucidated. Using a high-speed Ca(2+) imaging system, we examined the chemotactic behavior and [Ca(2+)](i) in individual ascidian(More)
Eggs of many marine and mammalian species attract sperm by releasing chemoattractants that modify the bending properties of flagella to redirect sperm paths toward the egg. This process, called chemotaxis, is dependent on extracellular Ca(2+). We used stroboscopic fluorescence imaging to measure intracellular Ca(2+) concentration ([Ca(2+)]i) in the flagella(More)
Mechanisms of gravitactic behaviors of aquatic microorganisms were investigated in terms of their mechanical basis of gravity-dependent orientation. Two mechanical mechanisms have been considered as possible sources of the orientation torque generated on the inert body. One results from the differential density within an organism (the gravity-buoyancy(More)
Speract, an egg-derived sperm-activating peptide, induces changes in intracellular Ca2+, Na+, pH, cAMP, cGMP, and membrane potential in sperm of the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus. Ca2+ is a key regulator of motility in all sperm and, in many marine species, is required for generating turns interspersed with straighter swimming paths that are(More)
In order to characterize the energy expenditure of Paramecium, we simultaneously measured the oxygen consumption rate, using an optic fluorescence oxygen sensor, and the swimming speed, which was evaluated by the optical slice method. The standard metabolic rate (SMR, the rate of energy consumption exclusively for physiological activities other than(More)
Excited fluorophores produce reactive oxygen species that are toxic toward many live cells (phototoxicity) and accelerate bleaching of the fluorophores during the course of extended or repeated measurements (photobleaching). We recently developed an illumination system for fluorescence microscopy using a high power light-emitting diode (LED), which can emit(More)
The swimming behaviour of Paramecium was analyzed under natural and experimental hypergravity conditions. Paramecium that swam upwards (in the opposite direction to the gravitational force) along a straight path (straight swimmers) swam more slowly than those swimming downwards. This dependence of the swimming velocity on its direction relative to gravity(More)