Altered Sperm-Oocyte Interactions after Exposure to Reproductive Toxicants

EPA Grant Number: R825351
Title: Altered Sperm-Oocyte Interactions after Exposure to Reproductive Toxicants
Investigators: Berger, Trish , Miller, Marion G.
Institution: University of California - Davis
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: December 1, 1996 through November 30, 1999
Project Amount: $471,954
RFA: Exploratory Research - Environmental Biology (1996) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Biology/Life Sciences , Aquatic Ecosystems


The objectives of this study are to evaluate sperm-oocyte interaction for assay sensitivity of sperm and oocytes to reproductive toxicants compared with sensitivity of assays analyzing sperm motility, spermatogenesis, and epididymal function and to evaluate the sperm and oocyte plasma membrane proteins including those that specifically interact with the complementary gamete surface as potentially more sensitive markers of exposure to toxicants and as part of the explanation for the effect of the toxicants. The sensitivity of the male reproductive system to toxicant exposure assessed by sperm fertilizing potential in an in vitro fertilization system will be compared with computer assisted analysis of sperm motility and sperm morphology. Sperm plasma membranes will be isolated from treated and control male rats and analyzed for protein composition and for specific proteins binding the oocyte. Similarly, the sensitivity of the female reproductive system to toxicant exposure will by assessed by the fertilizability of oocytes in an in vitro fertilization system. The binding of sperm plasma membrane proteins to the oocyte surface will be assessed both as a means to further understand the effect of the toxicants and as a potential biomarker. The in vitro fertilization system is anticipated to be more sensitive to toxicant exposure than the more routine assays. Plasma membrane proteins interacting with the complementary gamete are expected to contribute to the mechanism of the toxicant effect. The proposed research is expected to contribute to our understanding of how some toxicants affect the reproductive system and may lead to more sensitive biomarkers of reproductive toxicant effects in both the male and female.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 2 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 1 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Health, Scientific Discipline, Environmental Chemistry, Chemistry, Epidemiology, Risk Assessments, Biology, ecological risk assessment, sperm plazma membranes, toxicology, sperm-oocyte interactions, toxic environmental contaminants, spermatogenesis, gametes, biomarker, in vitro fertilization

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 1997 Progress Report
  • 1998
  • Final