Separate effects of caffeine and dbcAMP on macaque sperm motility and interaction with the zona pellucida

C. A. Vandevoort, Theodore L Tollner, J. W. Overstreet

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50 Scopus citations


Capacitation of macaque sperm with caffeine and dbcAMP is required for fertilization in vitro. This study determined the separate effects of caffeine and dbcAMP on sperm-zona pellucida binding and the acrosome reaction of zona bound sperm. Semen from 6 cynomolgus macaques was washed through 60% Percoll, resuspended, and washed with BWW media and incubated for 2.5 hr. Caffeine, dbcAMP (2 mM each), or both (1 mM each) were added to aliquots of the sperm suspensions. Immature macaque oocytes were placed into drops of sperm suspensions, coincubated with sperm for 30 sec, and either fixed immediately or removed to sperm-free media and incubated 1 hr before fixation. There were no significant differences between groups in the percentage of live, acrosome-reacted sperm in suspension. Treatment with caffeine and dbcAMP or with caffeine alone, significantly increased the number of sperm bound to each zona pellucida (96 ± 16 and 81 ± 17, respectively) compared to control and dbcAMP treatment (15 ± 4 and 28 ± 13). However, treatment with dbcAMP, alone and with caffeine, resulted in a higher percentage of acrosome-reacted sperm on the zona (15.2 ± 2.1 and 9.0 ± 0.6) than control or caffeine treatment (3.0 ± 1.4 and 2.4 ± 0.5). Effects on sperm motility consistent with hyperactivation were detected only when both caffeine and dbcAMP were present. Although both caffeine and dbcAMP are presumed to increase or to produce the same effect as increased intracellular cAMP levels, these compounds have different effects on the ability of sperm to bind to the zona and to undergo the acrosome reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994


  • Capacitation
  • Macaca fasicularis
  • Semen
  • Zona binding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics


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