The times for epididymal bull spermatozoa to undergo swelling-induced lysis in water and in isosmotic solutions of penetrating polyhydric alcohols were determined by microscopical observations. The permeability of the spermatozoa to inorganic anions was studied by an indirect method, involving spermatocrit determinations on cells suspended in different ammonium-Ringer solutions. The effects of the anions and of caffeine on the kinetic activity of spermatozoa and sperm models were studied by the `sperm-rise' test and microscopical observations. The following results were obtained. (1) The rates of permeation of the sperm membrane of the different polyols investigated followed the series erythritol> adonitol>d-arabitol>sorbitol>l-arabitol, mannitol, dulcitol. (2) Bull spermatozoa seem to have a permeability to univalent inorganic anions which is greater than that to cations. The penetration rates of the different anions seem to obey the series SCN− > NO3− > I− > Br−,Cl−. (3) Fluoride appears to penetrate preferably in the form of HF, a conclusion also drawn by previous authors on the basis of other types of experiments. (4) Br− and caffeine both potentiated the sperm kinetic activity and Br− that of the sperm models.
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