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.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.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.Zona Pellucida: A tough transparent membrane surrounding the OVUM. It is penetrated by the sperm during 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.Spermatids: Male germ cells derived from the haploid secondary SPERMATOCYTES. Without further division, spermatids undergo structural changes and give rise to SPERMATOZOA.Fertilization: The fusion of a spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) with an OVUM thus resulting in the formation of a ZYGOTE.Spermatogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the male from the primordial germ cells, through SPERMATOGONIA; SPERMATOCYTES; SPERMATIDS; to the mature haploid SPERMATOZOA.Egg Proteins: Proteins which are found in eggs (OVA) from any species.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.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.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.Sperm Tail: The posterior filiform portion of the spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) that provides sperm motility.Vitelline Membrane: The plasma membrane of the egg.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).Testis: 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.Ovum: A mature haploid female germ cell extruded from the OVARY at OVULATION.Asterias: A genus of STARFISH in the family Asteriidae. One species, Asterias rubens, is the most common in the north-east Atlantic region.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.Sea Urchins: Somewhat flattened, globular echinoderms, having thin, brittle shells of calcareous plates. They are useful models for studying FERTILIZATION and EMBRYO DEVELOPMENT.Fertilization in Vitro: An assisted reproductive technique that includes the direct handling and manipulation of oocytes and sperm to achieve fertilization in vitro.Chlortetracycline: A TETRACYCLINE with a 7-chloro substitution.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.Exocytosis: Cellular release of material within membrane-limited vesicles by fusion of the vesicles with the CELL MEMBRANE.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.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.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.ShrewsSperm Midpiece: The middle piece of the spermatozoon is a highly organized segment consisting of MITOCHONDRIA, the outer dense fibers and the core microtubular structure.Sperm Agglutination: Agglutination of spermatozoa by antibodies or autoantibodies.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 18.104.22.168.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.Macropodidae: A family of herbivorous leaping MAMMALS of Australia, New Guinea, and adjacent islands. Members include kangaroos, wallabies, quokkas, and wallaroos.Calcium Ionophores: Chemical agents that increase the permeability of CELL MEMBRANES to CALCIUM ions.Benzamidines: Amidines substituted with a benzene group. Benzamidine and its derivatives are known as peptidase inhibitors.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)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.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.Sperm Count: A count of SPERM in the ejaculum, expressed as number per milliliter.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.Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.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.Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.Bufo arenarum: A species of the true toads, Bufonidae, found in South America.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.Lysophosphatidylcholines: Derivatives of PHOSPHATIDYLCHOLINES obtained by their partial hydrolysis which removes one of the fatty acid moieties.Ejaculation: The emission of SEMEN to the exterior, resulting from the contraction of muscles surrounding the male internal urogenital ducts.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.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.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.Sperm 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.Starfish: Echinoderms having bodies of usually five radially disposed arms coalescing at the center.Sus scrofa: A species of SWINE, in the family Suidae, comprising a number of subspecies including the domestic pig Sus scrofa domestica.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.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.Cricetinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the hamsters. Four of the more common genera are Cricetus, CRICETULUS; MESOCRICETUS; and PHODOPUS.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)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).Nigericin: A polyether antibiotic which affects ion transport and ATPase activity in mitochondria. It is produced by Streptomyces hygroscopicus. (From Merck Index, 11th ed)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.Membrane Glycoproteins: Glycoproteins found on the membrane or surface of cells.Oocytes: 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.Receptors, 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.Spermatocytes: Male germ cells derived from SPERMATOGONIA. The euploid primary spermatocytes undergo MEIOSIS and give rise to the haploid secondary spermatocytes which in turn give rise to SPERMATIDS.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.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.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)Mice, Inbred ICRAnnelida: A phylum of metazoan invertebrates comprising the segmented worms, and including marine annelids (POLYCHAETA), freshwater annelids, earthworms (OLIGOCHAETA), and LEECHES. Only the leeches are of medical interest. (Dorland, 27th ed)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.Contraceptive Agents, Male: Chemical substances or agents with contraceptive activity in males. Use for male contraceptive agents in general or for which there is no specific heading.Periodic Acid-Schiff Reaction: A histochemical technique for staining carbohydrates. It is based on PERIODIC ACID oxidation of a substance containing adjacent hydroxyl groups. The resulting aldehydes react with Schiff reagent to form a colored product.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.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.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.Murinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the Old World MICE and RATS.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.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.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.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.Marsupialia: An infraclass of MAMMALS, also called Metatheria, where the young are born at an early stage of development and continue to develop in a pouch (marsupium). In contrast to Eutheria (placentals), marsupials have an incomplete PLACENTA.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.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)FucoseElements: 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.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)Enzyme Precursors: Physiologically inactive substances that can be converted to active enzymes.Membrane Proteins: Proteins which are found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. They consist of two types, peripheral and integral proteins. They include most membrane-associated enzymes, antigenic proteins, transport proteins, and drug, hormone, and lectin receptors.Lectins: Proteins that share the common characteristic of binding to carbohydrates. Some ANTIBODIES and carbohydrate-metabolizing proteins (ENZYMES) also bind to carbohydrates, however they are not considered lectins. PLANT LECTINS are carbohydrate-binding proteins that have been primarily identified by their hemagglutinating activity (HEMAGGLUTININS). However, a variety of lectins occur in animal species where they serve diverse array of functions through specific carbohydrate recognition.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.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.Microscopy, Phase-Contrast: A form of interference microscopy in which variations of the refracting index in the object are converted into variations of intensity in the image. This is achieved by the action of a phase plate.Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel: Electrophoresis in which a polyacrylamide gel is used as the diffusion medium.Seminiferous Epithelium: The epithelium lining the seminiferous tubules composed of primary male germ cells (SPERMATOGONIA) and supporting SERTOLI CELLS. As SPERMATOGENESIS proceeds, the developing germ cells migrate toward the lumen. The adluminal compartment, the inner two thirds of the tubules, contains SPERMATOCYTES and the more advanced germ cells.