Ultrastructural localization of calcium ions in ram spermatozoa before and after cold shock as demonstrated by a pyroantimonate technique

in Reproduction
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Summary. Ram spermatozoa were subjected to cold shock before fixation in pyroantimonate—osmium. Ultrathin sections revealed an electron-dense particulate precipitate in association with the cells. The precipitate was shown to be related to the presence of calcium by exposure of the material to EGTA which reduced or completely eliminated the deposits.

In the acrosome region, very little precipitate was evident when the plasma membrane was intact. Cold shock resulted in the disruption of the plasma membrane. When the acrosome remained intact, precipitate was concentrated just anterior to the equatorial segment, but many cells also had acrosomal disruption and then a more even distribution of precipitate was seen on the outer acrosomal membrane. Precipitate was rarely visible within or beneath the acrosome. Post-acrosomally, calcium pyroantimonate deposits were frequently present in the dense lamina beneath the plasma membrane and these became more intense after cold shock.

Midpiece sections revealed a few large granules beneath the plasma membrane and a fine particulate precipitate within mitochondria. Similarly, the fine precipitate was also associated with the outer dense fibres in midpieces and tails. Cold shock did not apparently increase the extent or intensity of precipitates in these sites.

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