Electrophysiological evidence for the presence of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in mouse sperm.

TitleElectrophysiological evidence for the presence of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) in mouse sperm.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsFierro DF, Acevedo JJ, Martínez P, Escoffier J, Sepúlveda FV, Balderas E, Orta G, Visconti P, Darszon A
JournalJournal of cellular physiology
Date Published2012 Jul 25
AbstractMammalian sperm must undergo a maturational process, named capacitation, in the female reproductive tract to fertilize the egg. Sperm capacitation is regulated by a cAMP/PKA pathway and involves increases in intracellular Ca(2+) , pH, Cl(-) , protein tyrosine phosphorylation, and in mouse and some other mammals a membrane potential hyperpolarization. The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a Cl(-) channel modulated by cAMP/PKA and ATP, was detected in mammalian sperm and proposed to modulate capacitation. Our whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from testicular mouse sperm now reveal a Cl(-) selective component to membrane current that is ATP-dependent, stimulated by cAMP, cGMP and genistein (a CFTR agonist, at low concentrations), and inhibited by DPC and CFTR(inh) -172, two well-known CFTR antagonists. Furthermore, the Cl(-) current component activated by cAMP and inhibited by CFTR(inh) -172 is absent in recordings on testicular sperm from mice possessing the CFTR ▵F508 loss-of-function mutation, indicating that CFTR is responsible for this component. A Cl(-) selective like current component displaying CFTR characteristics was also found in wild type epididymal sperm bearing the cytoplasmatic droplet. Capacitated sperm treated with CFTR(inh) -172 undergo a shape change, suggesting that CFTR is involved in cell volume regulation. These findings indicate that functional CFTR channels are present in mouse sperm and their biophysical properties are consistent with their proposed participation in capacitation. J. Cell. Physiol. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.