About Careers MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

What Causes Sperms to Move Towards Mating Call ?

by Savitha C Muppala on March 9, 2012 at 5:42 PM
Font : A-A+

 What Causes Sperms to Move Towards Mating Call ?

Sperm have only one objective: to find the egg and the egg supports sperm in their hunt by emitting attractants that induce changes in the calcium level inside sperm, researchers say.

Calcium ions determine the beating pattern of the sperm tail, which enables sperm to steer.

Advertisement

Together with colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Dresden and the University of Gottingen, scientists from the Caesar Research Center in Bonn, an institute of the Max Planck Society, have discovered that sperm only react to changes in calcium concentration but not to the calcium concentration itself.

Probably sperm make this calculation so that they remain capable of manoeuvring even in the presence of high calcium concentrations.

The swimming path on which sperm follow the mating call of the egg, varies according to species.
Advertisement

Sperm - in particular those of marine species - swim along convoluted paths in a chemical concentration gradient.

Their swimming style is controlled by the calcium ions in the sperm tail.

It was previously believed that at high calcium concentration, the sperm tails make asymmetrical, whip-like movements and their swimming path is very curved, while at low calcium concentration, the tail beats symmetrically and sperm swim on a straight line.

The alternation of high and low calcium concentrations was thought to steer sperm along spiral-shaped swimming paths.

However, this simple model was in contradiction with experiments on freely-swimming sperm and presented the investigators with something of a mystery.

The scientists have now succeeded into solving this mystery. Using an ingenious stroboscopic laser illumination - similar to that used in discotheques - the project leader Luis Alvarez was able to trace the movement of sperm in detail, and simultaneously measure the changes in the calcium concentration.

The result was astonishing: the sperm tail only reacted to the time derivative of the calcium concentration and the absolute concentration was of little relevance.

To put it simply: sperm can perform calculus! Exactly how they do this is unclear. The caesar scientists suspect that sperm detect calcium ions with the help of two proteins.

Calcium binds to one protein fast and to the other slow. By comparing the amount of calcium bound on both proteins can compute a "chemical derivative", so to speak.

Sperm carry out this complicated calculation that we first encounter at the upper secondary school level as the concentration of the attractants and, therefore also, the calcium concentration in sperm is very high near the egg.

The mathematical trick probably enables sperm to be able to react even in the presence of such high calcium concentrations.

Source: ANI
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
World Disability Day 2022 - The Role of Innovative Transformation
Diet and Oral Health: The Sugary Connection May Become Sour
World AIDS Day 2022 - Equalize!
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Genetics of Male Infertility Premature Ejaculation Sexual Intercourse Facts 

Most Popular on Medindia

Blood - Sugar Chart Blood Pressure Calculator Selfie Addiction Calculator Vent Forte (Theophylline) Find a Doctor Noscaphene (Noscapine) A-Z Drug Brands in India Drug Interaction Checker Drug - Food Interactions Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE

×

What Causes Sperms to Move Towards Mating Call ? Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests