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J. C. HSIA, L. H. PIETTE and R. W. NOYES

Success in studying the rate of flow of spermatozoa through the female reproductive tract in vivo will require a sperm-labelling method better than those at present available. Radiophosphorous labelling in vivo (Ortavant, 1954), and radio-active amino acid labelling in vitro (Bhargava, 1957) do not yield specific activities high enough for detection in vivo. Fluorescence labelling cannot be detected in vivo (Ericsson, 1967). Partial success has been obtained by binding spermatozoa to 131I-labelled anti-sperm antibody in vitro, but this label is slowly lost from the spermatozoa in the female tract (Noyes, 1968, 1969). A surface active label has been designed which can intercalate itself between the lipid bilayers or the lipoprotein fraction of plasma membranes (Hsia & Piette, unpublished). The present report is a preliminary account of the adaptation of this labelling method to rabbit spermatozoa in vitro. Lauric, myristic and stearic fatty acid spin labels with the following