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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 66; doi:10.3390/ijms18010066

Aquaporin-Mediated Water and Hydrogen Peroxide Transport Is Involved in Normal Human Spermatozoa Functioning

1
Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Pavia, I-27100 Pavia, Italy
2
Scientific Direction, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, I-27100 Pavia, Italy
3
Center for Reproductive Medicine, Obstetrics and Ginecology Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, I-27100 Pavia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kenichi Ishibashi
Received: 27 October 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 24 December 2016 / Published: 30 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquaporin)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2668 KB, uploaded 30 December 2016]   |  

Abstract

Different aquaporins (AQPs) are expressed in human sperm cells and with a different localization. Their function has been related to cell volume control in response to the osmotic changes encountered passing from the epididymal fluid to the cervical mucus or involved in the end stage of cytoplasm removal during sperm maturation. Recently, AQPs have also shown hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) permeability properties. Here, we investigate the expression, localization and functioning of AQPs in human sperm cells with particular attention to their role as peroxiporins in reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenging in both normospermic and sub-fertile human subjects. Western blotting and immunocytochemistry were used to confirm and clarify the AQPs expression and localization. Water and H2O2 permeability was tested by stopped flow light scattering method and by the CM-H2DCFDA (5-(and-6)-chloromethyl-2′,7′-dichlorodihydro-fluorescein diacetate, acetyl ester) H2O2 fluorescence probe, respectively. AQP3, -7, -8, and -11 proteins were found in human sperm cells and localized in the head (AQP7), in the middle piece (AQP8) and in the tail (AQP3 and -11) in both the plasma membrane and in intracellular structures. Sperm cells showed water and H2O2 permeability which was reversibly inhibited by H2O2, heat stress and the AQP inhibitor HgCl2. Reduced functionality was observed in patients with compromised basal semen parameters. Present findings suggest that AQPs are involved in both volume regulation and ROS elimination. The relationship between sperm number and motility and AQP functioning was also demonstrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: water channel; oxidative stress; sterility; aquaporins-8; aquaporins-7; sperm motility water channel; oxidative stress; sterility; aquaporins-8; aquaporins-7; sperm motility
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MDPI and ACS Style

Laforenza, U.; Pellavio, G.; Marchetti, A.L.; Omes, C.; Todaro, F.; Gastaldi, G. Aquaporin-Mediated Water and Hydrogen Peroxide Transport Is Involved in Normal Human Spermatozoa Functioning. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 66.

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