Motility, heat, and lactate production in ejaculated bovine sperm

Roy H. Hammerstedt, Cinzia Volonté, Efraim Racker

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Effects of various inhibitors on motility, heat, and lactate production of ejaculated bovine sperm were determined in the presence of antimycin A and rotenone. erythro-9-[3-(2-Hydroxynonyl)]adenine (EHNA) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP-360) stopped motility and reduced heat or lactate production by 30-50%. Carbodiimides resulted in loss of motility and a reduction of metabolism by 60-75%. Quercetin treatment, which enhanced rather than inhibited motility, depressed heat and lactate production by 50-60%. Since mechanical immobilization reduced heat production by only 30%, the question arises as to what other cellular processes are major contributors to the energy budget. Inhibitors of ion flux had little-to-no effect on heat or lactate production, suggesting that neither mitochondrial nor Na+ K+ ATPases were major ATP-requiring processes. Calcium flux at the plasma membrane also was minimal and previous reports eliminated glycolytic substrate cycling as major consuming processes for ATP. Although quercetin inhibited lactate production in intact cells, no effect of quercetin on cell-free glycolysis and the ATPase activities of isolated dynein was detected. Quercetin did, however, inhibit ATPase activity of plasma membrane, suggesting that this unidentified ATPase may contribute to the formation of ADP and Pi required for lactate production by the intact cell. We propose (a) that the bioenergetic costs of motility are divided between regulatory events and dynein-microtubule interaction (dynein ATPase), (b) that some of the membrane-related processes may be "inefficient," and (c) that quercetin may render these steps more "efficient," in a manner analogous to its action on the Na+ K+ pump of Ehrlich ascites tumor cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalArchives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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