Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Analysis of the effect of the potassium ion on fowl sperm motility Public Deposited

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  • Fowl sperm are believed to be immotile prior to ejaculation. The concentration of potassium found in deferent duct fluid is approximately 8 times higher than that found in blood plasma, which is 5 mM in Gallus domesticus. The effect of ionic potassium on fowl sperm motion was tested in a series of five experiments. Initially, the following argument was made: if 40 mM KC1 inhibited sperm motility in vitro, then deferent duct K⁺ might act to inhibit sperm motility prior to ejaculation. A preliminary experiment demonstrated that extracellular potassium had no effect on sperm mobility (P ≥ 0.05). Greater replication was used in the second experiment, and, the same outcome was observed (P ≥ 0.05). The third experiment confirmed that K had no latent effect on sperm motility as measured by motile concentration with the Hobson Sperm Tracker over a 20-mm interval (P ≥ 0.05). The fourth experiment was a preliminary experiment in which the effect of 1% (vol/vol) dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) on motile concentration had no effect (P ≥ 0.05). Experiment five demonstrated that glybenclamide, a mitochondrial K⁺ ATP channel blocker, decreased sperm motility in a dose-dependent manner (P ≥ 0.001). This experimental outcome was consonant with the predicted effect of sulfonylureas on mitochondrial volume and respiration. In summary, the notion was rejected that a high concentration of K⁺ within deferent duct fluid inhibits sperm motility. However, the collective data sets may afford an explanation for the origin of deferent duct fluid K⁺, which remains a mystery. Fowl deferent duct fluid contains millimolar amount of glutamate, and fowl sperm have N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) channels. It is proposed that KATP and NMDA channels act in concert to enable a K⁺ efflux from sperm during sperm maturation in the excurrent ducts of the testis.
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