Sperm-zona pellucida interaction in cynomolgus and rhesus macaques

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

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41 Scopus citations


These experiments were carried out to establish and validate an in vitro system for studying macaque sperm-zona pellucida interaction. Sperm of rhesus and cynomolgus macaques were capacitated in vitro and incubated with cryopreserved zonae pellucidae. Homologous gamete incubations were tested, as well as cross-species combinations. Approximately 25% of macaque sperm bound to the zonae acrosome reacted within 1 minute of gamete coincubation, although the percentage of acrosome reactions in the sperm suspension was less than 1%. There was a small but consistent increase in the percent of acrosome reactions of zona sperm after an additional hour of incubation in sperm-free media. Similar results were obtained in the cross-species experiments, suggesting that zonae from the two macaque species can be used interchangeably in sperm-zona binding assays. Differences in the physiologic characteristics of the sperm of the macaque species were demonstrated. Cynomolgus sperm required activation with caffeine and dibutyryl cyclic adenosine monophosphate (dbcAMP) in order to bind to the zonae. Rhesus sperm were able to bind to the zonae and acrosome react in the absence of activators, although both sperm binding and percentage of acrosome reactions increased with the addition of activators. Large numbers of sperm from both macaque species bound to the zonae of hamster oocytes after treatment with activators, but the bound sperm did not acrosome react. These experiments demonstrate the importance of evaluating the acrosomal status of sperm when sperm-zona binding assays are performed with macaque gametes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-432
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Andrology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992


  • acrosome reaction
  • caffeine
  • dbcAMP
  • semen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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