Anandamide Induces Sperm Release from Oviductal Epithelia through Nitric Oxide Pathway in Bovines

Abstract

Mammalian spermatozoa are not able to fertilize an egg immediately upon ejaculation. They acquire this ability during their transit through the female genital tract in a process known as capacitation. The mammalian oviduct acts as a functional sperm reservoir providing a suitable environment that allows the maintenance of sperm fertilization competence until ovulation occurs. After ovulation, spermatozoa are gradually released from the oviductal reservoir in the caudal isthmus and ascend to the site of fertilization. Capacitating-related changes in sperm plasma membrane seem to be responsible for sperm release from oviductal epithelium. Anandamide is a lipid mediator that participates in the regulation of several female and male reproductive functions. Previously we have demonstrated that anandamide was capable to release spermatozoa from oviductal epithelia by induction of sperm capacitation in bovines. In the present work we studied whether anandamide might exert its effect by activating the nitric oxide (NO) pathway since this molecule has been described as a capacitating agent in spermatozoa from different species. First, we demonstrated that 1 µM NOC-18, a NO donor, and 10 mM L-Arginine, NO synthase substrate, induced the release of spermatozoa from the oviductal epithelia. Then, we observed that the anandamide effect on sperm oviduct interaction was reversed by the addition of 1 µM L-NAME, a NO synthase inhibitor, or 30 µg/ml Hemoglobin, a NO scavenger. We also demonstrated that the induction of bull sperm capacitation by nanomolar concentrations of R(+)-methanandamide or anandamide was inhibited by adding L-NAME or Hemoglobin. To study whether anandamide is able to produce NO, we measured this compound in both sperm and oviductal cells. We observed that anandamide increased the levels of NO in spermatozoa, but not in oviductal cells. These findings suggest that anandamide regulates the sperm release from oviductal epithelia probably by activating the NO pathway during sperm capacitation.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030671

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@inproceedings{OsyckaSalut2012AnandamideIS, title={Anandamide Induces Sperm Release from Oviductal Epithelia through Nitric Oxide Pathway in Bovines}, author={Claudia E Osycka-Salut and Mar{\'i}a Gracia Gervasi and Elba Nora Pereyra and Maximiliano Cella and Mar{\'i}a Laura Ribeiro and Ana Mar{\'i}a Franchi and Silvina Perez-Mart{\'i}nez}, booktitle={PloS one}, year={2012} }