PubMed 22013213

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Slo1 , Slo3

Title: Calcium channels in the development, maturation, and function of spermatozoa.

Authors: Alberto Darszon, Takuya Nishigaki, Carmen Beltrán, Claudia L Treviño

Journal, date & volume: Physiol. Rev., 2011 Oct , 91, 1305-55

PubMed link:

A proper dialogue between spermatozoa and the egg is essential for conception of a new individual in sexually reproducing animals. Ca(2+) is crucial in orchestrating this unique event leading to a new life. No wonder that nature has devised different Ca(2+)-permeable channels and located them at distinct sites in spermatozoa so that they can help fertilize the egg. New tools to study sperm ionic currents, and image intracellular Ca(2+) with better spatial and temporal resolution even in swimming spermatozoa, are revealing how sperm ion channels participate in fertilization. This review critically examines the involvement of Ca(2+) channels in multiple signaling processes needed for spermatozoa to mature, travel towards the egg, and fertilize it. Remarkably, these tiny specialized cells can express exclusive channels like CatSper for Ca(2+) and SLO3 for K(+), which are attractive targets for contraception and for the discovery of novel signaling complexes. Learning more about fertilization is a matter of capital importance; societies face growing pressure to counteract rising male infertility rates, provide safe male gamete-based contraceptives, and preserve biodiversity through improved captive breeding and assisted conception initiatives.