Fertilization outcome could be regulated by binding of oviductal plasminogen to oocytes and by releasing of plasminogen activators during interplay between gametes

Capsule:
Plasminogen is present in the oviductal fluid. Plasminogen and plasminogen activators are present in oolemma and zona pellucida of matured oocytes. After IVF, the immunoreactivity for plasminogen and its activators in oocytes decreases. Presence of plasminogen in the IVF medium decreases polyspermy rates.

Authors:
Irene Mondéjar, Ph.D., Luis A. Grullón, Ph.D., Francisco A. García-Vázquez, Ph.D., Raquel Romar, Ph.D., Pilar Coy, Ph.D.
Volume 97, Issue 2 , Pages 453-461.e3, February 2012

Objective:
To detect plasminogen and plasminogen activators (PA) in oviduct and oocytes and to clarify the role of the plasminogen/plasmin system on mammalian fertilization.

Design:
Experimental prospective study.

Setting:
Mammalian reproduction research laboratory.

Animal(s):
Oviducts and ovaries from porcine and bovine females were collected at slaughterhouse. A total of 52 oviducts and 2,292 oocytes were used. Boar and bull ejaculated spermatozoa were also used.

Intervention(s):
Plasminogen concentration in oviductal fluid (OF) through the cycle was measured. Immunolocalization of plasminogen and PAs in oocytes was carried out before and after fertilization. Porcine and bovine oocytes were in vitro fertilized, with plasminogen and plasmin added to the culture medium at different concentrations.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Plasminogen concentration in OF. Plasminogen and PAs immunolocalization in oocytes. Penetration and monospermy rates, number of spermatozoa in the ooplasma and on the zona pellucida (ZP) after IVF.

Result(s):
Oviductal fluid contains about 92 μg/mL of plasminogen. The mature oocyte shows immunoreactivity toward plasminogen and toward PAs on its oolemma and ZP. After fertilization, plasminogen and PAs immunolabeling decreases in the oocyte, suggesting its conversion into plasmin. When exogenous plasminogen is added to the IVF medium, sperm entry into the oocyte is hampered, suggesting that the role of plasminogen activation during fertilization is to reduce the number of (or to select) penetrating spermatozoa.

Conclusion(s):
The plasminogen/plasmin system is activated during gamete interaction and regulates the sperm entry into the oocyte.

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