Centrifugal countercurrent distribution (CCCD) in aqueous two-phase systems has been proven to be a useful method to study subtle surface properties of spermatozoa. The present work shows that a short-term inhibition of the energy metabolism of sperm cells effected by incubating bovine sperm cells with KCN or ouabain, did not account for changes in the cell surface properties, as assessed either by estimation of the cell viability or by CCCD analysis. However, the short-term inhibition of energy metabolism provoked a clear decrease of cell motility, suggesting that a drop of cellular ATP levels brings about a rapid decrease of motility followed by a very delayed effect on cell surface properties. The relevance of these results on the handling of sperm and on the understanding of the molecular events underlying asthenospermia is discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.