Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences (Mar 2013)

Effects of Hormones on the Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinases and Their Inhibitors in Bovine Spermatozoa

  • Sang-Hwan Kim,
  • Young-Seon Song,
  • Sue-Yun Hwang,
  • Kwan-Sik Min,
  • Jong-Taek Yoon

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 26, no. 3
pp. 334 – 342


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Proteases and protease inhibitors play key roles in most physiological processes, including cell migration, cell signaling, and cell surface and tissue remodeling. Among these, the matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) pathway is one of the most efficient biosynthetic pathways for controlling the activation of enzymes responsible for protein degradation. This also indicates the association of MMPs with the maturation of spermatozoa. In an attempt to investigate the effect of MMP activation and inhibitors in cultures with various hormones during sperm capacitation, we examined and monitored the localization and expression of MMPs (MMP-2 and MMP-9), tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP-2 and TIMP-3), as well as their expression profiles. Matured spermatozoa were collected from cultures with follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and Lutalyse at 1 h, 6 h, 18 h, and 24 h. ELISA detected the expression of MMP-2, MMP-9, TIMP-2, and TIMP-3 in all culture media, regardless of medium type (FSH-supplemented fertilization Brackett-Oliphant medium (FFBO), LH-supplemented FBO (LFBO), or Lutalyse-supplemented FBO (LuFBO)). TIMP-2 and TIMP-3 expression patterns decreased in LFBO and LuFBO. MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity in FBO and FFBO progressively increased from 1 h to 24 h but was not detected in LFBO and LuFBO. The localization and expression of TIMP-2 and TIMP-3 in sperm heads was also measured by immunofluorescence analysis. However, MMPs were not detected in the sperm heads. MMP and TIMP expression patterns differed according to the effect of various hormones. These findings suggest that MMPs have a role in sperm viability during capacitation. In conjunction with hormones, MMPs play a role in maintaining capacitation and fertilization by controlling extracellular matrix inhibitors of sperm.