Cytochemical Characterization and Localization of Oligomannosidic Oligosaccharide Receptors on the Normal Human Spermatozoa Using Fluorescent Lectins: Comparison of Different Fixation Procedures


Centro de Investigaciones en Reproducción, Facultad de Medicina, Piso 10, 1121 Buenos Aires, Argentina.


ABSTRACT: Similar localizations of the Con A and wheat germ lectin receptors were obtained by using fluorescent lectins, in nonfixed spermatozoa and in spermatozoa fixed with formaldehyde and methanol, showing that in samples with the same previous treatment, worked out by the same operator, in which enough determinations have been performed to eliminate individual variations, the different procedures of fixation produced similar results.

The localizations obtained with fluorescent lectins confirm previous results, produced with the peroxidase technique, indicating that the lectins interact with oligomannosidic oligosaccharide receptors situated mainly in the equatorial segment of the acrosome and postnu-clear cap. They also indicate the presence of similar receptors that were not detected previously on the neck and intermediate segment. The larger size of the lectin-peroxidase-diaminebenzidine reagent compared to that of the fluorescent lectins suggests that the new receptors are semicriptic and were not detected by steric effects in the first case, but were able to interact with lower volume, fluorescent probes.

It is suggested that these oligomannosidic chains could be recognition signals for the elimination of incompetent sperm during their passage through the female reproductive track. Also these oligosaccharides and its possible metabolic variations could be involved in the interaction between the acrosome-reacted spermatozoa with the zone pellucida.