Acrosome Reaction: Changes that occur to liberate the enzymes of the ACROSOME of a sperm (SPERMATOZOA). Acrosome reaction allows the sperm to penetrate the ZONA PELLUCIDA and enter the OVUM during FERTILIZATION.Acrosome: The cap-like structure covering the anterior portion of SPERM HEAD. Acrosome, derived from LYSOSOMES, is a membrane-bound organelle that contains the required hydrolytic and proteolytic enzymes necessary for sperm penetration of the egg in FERTILIZATION.Spermatozoa: Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.Sperm Capacitation: The structural and functional changes by which SPERMATOZOA become capable of oocyte FERTILIZATION. It normally requires exposing the sperm to the female genital tract for a period of time to bring about increased SPERM MOTILITY and the ACROSOME REACTION before fertilization in the FALLOPIAN TUBES can take place.Zona Pellucida: A tough transparent membrane surrounding the OVUM. It is penetrated by the sperm during FERTILIZATION.Sperm-Ovum Interactions: Interactive processes between the oocyte (OVUM) and the sperm (SPERMATOZOA) including sperm adhesion, ACROSOME REACTION, sperm penetration of the ZONA PELLUCIDA, and events leading to FERTILIZATION.Sperm Motility: Movement characteristics of SPERMATOZOA in a fresh specimen. It is measured as the percentage of sperms that are moving, and as the percentage of sperms with productive flagellar motion such as rapid, linear, and forward progression.Acrosin: A trypsin-like enzyme of spermatozoa which is not inhibited by alpha 1 antitrypsin.Sperm Head: The anterior portion of the spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) that contains mainly the nucleus with highly compact CHROMATIN material.Fertilization: The fusion of a spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) with an OVUM thus resulting in the formation of a ZYGOTE.Egg Proteins: Proteins which are found in eggs (OVA) from any species.Ionophores: Chemical agents that increase the permeability of biological or artificial lipid membranes to specific ions. Most ionophores are relatively small organic molecules that act as mobile carriers within membranes or coalesce to form ion permeable channels across membranes. Many are antibiotics, and many act as uncoupling agents by short-circuiting the proton gradient across mitochondrial membranes.Calcimycin: An ionophorous, polyether antibiotic from Streptomyces chartreusensis. It binds and transports CALCIUM and other divalent cations across membranes and uncouples oxidative phosphorylation while inhibiting ATPase of rat liver mitochondria. The substance is used mostly as a biochemical tool to study the role of divalent cations in various biological systems.Peanut Agglutinin: Lectin purified from peanuts (ARACHIS HYPOGAEA). It binds to poorly differentiated cells and terminally differentiated cells and is used in cell separation techniques.Vitelline Membrane: The plasma membrane of the egg.Ovum: A mature haploid female germ cell extruded from the OVARY at OVULATION.Sea Urchins: Somewhat flattened, globular echinoderms, having thin, brittle shells of calcareous plates. They are useful models for studying FERTILIZATION and EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT.Asterias: A genus of STARFISH in the family Asteriidae. One species, Asterias rubens, is the most common in the north-east Atlantic region.Epididymis: The convoluted cordlike structure attached to the posterior of the TESTIS. Epididymis consists of the head (caput), the body (corpus), and the tail (cauda). A network of ducts leaving the testis joins into a common epididymal tubule proper which provides the transport, storage, and maturation of SPERMATOZOA.Chlortetracycline: A TETRACYCLINE with a 7-chloro substitution.Fertilization in Vitro: An assisted reproductive technique that includes the direct handling and manipulation of oocytes and sperm to achieve fertilization in vitro.Spermatids: Male germ cells derived from the haploid secondary SPERMATOCYTES. Without further division, spermatids undergo structural changes and give rise to SPERMATOZOA.Exocytosis: Cellular release of material within membrane-limited vesicles by fusion of the vesicles with the CELL MEMBRANE.Semen Preservation: The process by which semen is kept viable outside of the organism from which it was derived (i.e., kept from decay by means of a chemical agent, cooling, or a fluid substitute that mimics the natural state within the organism).Pimozide: A diphenylbutylpiperidine that is effective as an antipsychotic agent and as an alternative to HALOPERIDOL for the suppression of vocal and motor tics in patients with Tourette syndrome. Although the precise mechanism of action is unknown, blockade of postsynaptic dopamine receptors has been postulated. (From AMA Drug Evaluations Annual, 1994, p403)Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Benzamidines: Amidines substituted with a benzene group. Benzamidine and its derivatives are known as peptidase inhibitors.Semen: The thick, yellowish-white, viscid fluid secretion of male reproductive organs discharged upon ejaculation. In addition to reproductive organ secretions, it contains SPERMATOZOA and their nutrient plasma.Sperm Tail: The posterior filiform portion of the spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) that provides sperm motility.Infertility, Male: The inability of the male to effect FERTILIZATION of an OVUM after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Male sterility is permanent infertility.Seminal Plasma Proteins: Proteins found in SEMEN. Major seminal plasma proteins are secretory proteins from the male sex accessory glands, such as the SEMINAL VESICLES and the PROSTATE. They include the seminal vesicle-specific antigen, an ejaculate clotting protein; and the PROSTATE-SPECIFIC ANTIGEN, a protease and an esterase.rab3A GTP-Binding Protein: The most abundant member of the RAB3 GTP-BINDING PROTEINS. It is involved in calcium-dependent EXOCYTOSIS and is localized to neurons and neuroendocrine cells. This enzyme was formerly listed as EC The male gonad containing two functional parts: the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES for the production and transport of male germ cells (SPERMATOGENESIS) and the interstitial compartment containing LEYDIG CELLS that produce ANDROGENS.Calcium Ionophores: Chemical agents that increase the permeability of CELL MEMBRANES to CALCIUM ions.Bufo arenarum: A species of the true toads, Bufonidae, found in South America.Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.Sperm Maturation: The maturing process of SPERMATOZOA after leaving the testicular SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES. Maturation in SPERM MOTILITY and FERTILITY takes place in the EPIDIDYMIS as the sperm migrate from caput epididymis to cauda epididymis.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Antigens, CD46: A ubiquitously expressed complement receptor that binds COMPLEMENT C3B and COMPLEMENT C4B and serves as a cofactor for their inactivation. CD46 also interacts with a wide variety of pathogens and mediates immune response.Bisbenzimidazole: A benzimidazole antifilarial agent; it is fluorescent when it binds to certain nucleotides in DNA, thus providing a tool for the study of DNA replication; it also interferes with mitosis.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Lysophosphatidylcholines: Derivatives of PHOSPHATIDYLCHOLINES obtained by their partial hydrolysis which removes one of the fatty acid moieties.Nigericin: A polyether antibiotic which affects ion transport and ATPase activity in mitochondria. It is produced by Streptomyces hygroscopicus. (From Merck Index, 11th ed)Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.Mesocricetus: A genus of the family Muridae having three species. The present domesticated strains were developed from individuals brought from Syria. They are widely used in biomedical research.Sulfuric Acids: Inorganic and organic derivatives of sulfuric acid (H2SO4). The salts and esters of sulfuric acid are known as SULFATES and SULFURIC ACID ESTERS respectively.Guinea Pigs: A common name used for the genus Cavia. The most common species is Cavia porcellus which is the domesticated guinea pig used for pets and biomedical research.Starfish: Echinoderms having bodies of usually five radially disposed arms coalescing at the center.Cervix Mucus: A slightly alkaline secretion of the endocervical glands. The consistency and amount are dependent on the physiological hormone changes in the menstrual cycle. It contains the glycoprotein mucin, amino acids, sugar, enzymes, and electrolytes, with a water content up to 90%. The mucus is a useful protection against the ascent of bacteria and sperm into the uterus. (From Dictionary of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1988)Fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate: Fluorescent probe capable of being conjugated to tissue and proteins. It is used as a label in fluorescent antibody staining procedures as well as protein- and amino acid-binding techniques.Sperm Midpiece: The middle piece of the spermatozoon is a highly organized segment consisting of MITOCHONDRIA, the outer dense fibers and the core microtubular structure.Cricetinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the hamsters. Four of the more common genera are Cricetus, CRICETULUS; MESOCRICETUS; and PHODOPUS.Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.Sperm Agglutination: Agglutination of spermatozoa by antibodies or autoantibodies.Cryopreservation: Preservation of cells, tissues, organs, or embryos by freezing. In histological preparations, cryopreservation or cryofixation is used to maintain the existing form, structure, and chemical composition of all the constituent elements of the specimens.Membrane Glycoproteins: Glycoproteins found on the membrane or surface of cells.Fallopian Tubes: A pair of highly specialized muscular canals extending from the UTERUS to its corresponding OVARY. They provide the means for OVUM collection, and the site for the final maturation of gametes and FERTILIZATION. The fallopian tube consists of an interstitium, an isthmus, an ampulla, an infundibulum, and fimbriae. Its wall consists of three histologic layers: serous, muscular, and an internal mucosal layer lined with both ciliated and secretory cells.Sus scrofa: A species of SWINE, in the family Suidae, comprising a number of subspecies including the domestic pig Sus scrofa domestica.Semen Analysis: The quality of SEMEN, an indicator of male fertility, can be determined by semen volume, pH, sperm concentration (SPERM COUNT), total sperm number, sperm viability, sperm vigor (SPERM MOTILITY), normal sperm morphology, ACROSOME integrity, and the concentration of WHITE BLOOD CELLS.ShrewsReceptors, Cell Surface: Cell surface proteins that bind signalling molecules external to the cell with high affinity and convert this extracellular event into one or more intracellular signals that alter the behavior of the target cell (From Alberts, Molecular Biology of the Cell, 2nd ed, pp693-5). Cell surface receptors, unlike enzymes, do not chemically alter their ligands.Follicular Fluid: The fluid surrounding the OVUM and GRANULOSA CELLS in the Graafian follicle (OVARIAN FOLLICLE). The follicular fluid contains sex steroids, glycoprotein hormones, plasma proteins, mucopolysaccharides, and enzymes.Sperm Count: A count of SPERM in the ejaculum, expressed as number per milliliter.Elements: Substances that comprise all matter. Each element is made up of atoms that are identical in number of electrons and protons and in nuclear charge, but may differ in mass or number of neutrons.Murinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the Old World MICE and RATS.Monensin: An antiprotozoal agent produced by Streptomyces cinnamonensis. It exerts its effect during the development of first-generation trophozoites into first-generation schizonts within the intestinal epithelial cells. It does not interfere with hosts' development of acquired immunity to the majority of coccidial species. Monensin is a sodium and proton selective ionophore and is widely used as such in biochemical studies.Ejaculation: The emission of SEMEN to the exterior, resulting from the contraction of muscles surrounding the male internal urogenital ducts.FucoseOocytes: Female germ cells derived from OOGONIA and termed OOCYTES when they enter MEIOSIS. The primary oocytes begin meiosis but are arrested at the diplotene state until OVULATION at PUBERTY to give rise to haploid secondary oocytes or ova (OVUM).Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Glycoconjugates: Carbohydrates covalently linked to a nonsugar moiety (lipids or proteins). The major glycoconjugates are glycoproteins, glycopeptides, peptidoglycans, glycolipids, and lipopolysaccharides. (From Biochemical Nomenclature and Related Documents, 2d ed; From Principles of Biochemistry, 2d ed)Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect: A form of fluorescent antibody technique commonly used to detect serum antibodies and immune complexes in tissues and microorganisms in specimens from patients with infectious diseases. The technique involves formation of an antigen-antibody complex which is labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody. (From Bennington, Saunders Dictionary & Encyclopedia of Laboratory Medicine and Technology, 1984)Microscopy, Immunoelectron: Microscopy in which the samples are first stained immunocytochemically and then examined using an electron microscope. Immunoelectron microscopy is used extensively in diagnostic virology as part of very sensitive immunoassays.Swine: Any of various animals that constitute the family Suidae and comprise stout-bodied, short-legged omnivorous mammals with thick skin, usually covered with coarse bristles, a rather long mobile snout, and small tail. Included are the genera Babyrousa, Phacochoerus (wart hogs), and Sus, the latter containing the domestic pig (see SUS SCROFA).Pentoxifylline: A METHYLXANTHINE derivative that inhibits phosphodiesterase and affects blood rheology. It improves blood flow by increasing erythrocyte and leukocyte flexibility. It also inhibits platelet aggregation. Pentoxifylline modulates immunologic activity by stimulating cytokine production.Plant Lectins: Protein or glycoprotein substances of plant origin that bind to sugar moieties in cell walls or membranes. Some carbohydrate-metabolizing proteins (ENZYMES) from PLANTS also bind to carbohydrates, however they are not considered lectins. Many plant lectins change the physiology of the membrane of BLOOD CELLS to cause agglutination, mitosis, or other biochemical changes. They may play a role in plant defense mechanisms.Mice, Inbred ICRSperm Transport: Passive or active movement of SPERMATOZOA from the testicular SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES through the male reproductive tract as well as within the female reproductive tract.Membrane Fusion: The adherence and merging of cell membranes, intracellular membranes, or artificial membranes to each other or to viruses, parasites, or interstitial particles through a variety of chemical and physical processes.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Fluorescent Antibody Technique: Test for tissue antigen using either a direct method, by conjugation of antibody with fluorescent dye (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, DIRECT) or an indirect method, by formation of antigen-antibody complex which is then labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody (FLUORESCENT ANTIBODY TECHNIQUE, INDIRECT). The tissue is then examined by fluorescence microscopy.Phospholipase C delta: A phosphoinositide phospholipase C subtype that is structurally defined by the presence of an N-terminal pleckstrin-homology and EF-hand domains, a central catalytic domain, and a C-terminal calcium-dependent membrane-binding domain.Aminacrine: A highly fluorescent anti-infective dye used clinically as a topical antiseptic and experimentally as a mutagen, due to its interaction with DNA. It is also used as an intracellular pH indicator.Hydrogen-Ion Concentration: The normality of a solution with respect to HYDROGEN ions; H+. It is related to acidity measurements in most cases by pH = log 1/2[1/(H+)], where (H+) is the hydrogen ion concentration in gram equivalents per liter of solution. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Fluorescent Dyes: Agents that emit light after excitation by light. The wave length of the emitted light is usually longer than that of the incident light. Fluorochromes are substances that cause fluorescence in other substances, i.e., dyes used to mark or label other compounds with fluorescent tags.Calcium Channels: Voltage-dependent cell membrane glycoproteins selectively permeable to calcium ions. They are categorized as L-, T-, N-, P-, Q-, and R-types based on the activation and inactivation kinetics, ion specificity, and sensitivity to drugs and toxins. The L- and T-types are present throughout the cardiovascular and central nervous systems and the N-, P-, Q-, & R-types are located in neuronal tissue.Hyaluronoglucosaminidase: An enzyme that catalyzes the random hydrolysis of 1,4-linkages between N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosamine and D-glucuronate residues in hyaluronate. (From Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) There has been use as ANTINEOPLASTIC AGENTS to limit NEOPLASM METASTASIS.Bicarbonates: Inorganic salts that contain the -HCO3 radical. They are an important factor in determining the pH of the blood and the concentration of bicarbonate ions is regulated by the kidney. Levels in the blood are an index of the alkali reserve or buffering capacity.Culture Media: Any liquid or solid preparation made specifically for the growth, storage, or transport of microorganisms or other types of cells. The variety of media that exist allow for the culturing of specific microorganisms and cell types, such as differential media, selective media, test media, and defined media. Solid media consist of liquid media that have been solidified with an agent such as AGAR or GELATIN.Microscopy, Fluorescence: Microscopy of specimens stained with fluorescent dye (usually fluorescein isothiocyanate) or of naturally fluorescent materials, which emit light when exposed to ultraviolet or blue light. Immunofluorescence microscopy utilizes antibodies that are labeled with fluorescent dye.Body Fluids: Liquid components of living organisms.Glycoproteins: Conjugated protein-carbohydrate compounds including mucins, mucoid, and amyloid glycoproteins.Staining and Labeling: The marking of biological material with a dye or other reagent for the purpose of identifying and quantitating components of tissues, cells or their extracts.Serum Albumin, Bovine: Serum albumin from cows, commonly used in in vitro biological studies. (From Stedman, 25th ed)