Research Papers: Pathology:

Boar seminal plasma exosomes maintain sperm function by infiltrating into the sperm membrane

Jian Du, Jian Shen, Yuanxian Wang, Chuanying Pan, Weijun Pang, Hua Diao and Wuzi Dong _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:58832-58847. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11315

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Jian Du1, Jian Shen1, Yuanxian Wang1, Chuanying Pan1, Weijun Pang1, Hua Diao2 and Wuzi Dong1

1 College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi, P. R. China

2 NPFPC Key Laboratory of Contraceptives and Devices, Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research (SIPPR), Institutes of Reproduction and Development, Fudan University, Shanghai, P. R. China

Correspondence to:

Wuzi Dong, email:

Keywords: seminal plasma exosomes; boar sperm quality; capacitation; liquid storage; Pathology Section

Received: May 20, 2016 Accepted: July 28, 2016 Published: August 16, 2016


Seminal plasma ingredients are important for maintenance of sperm viability. This study focuses on the effect of boar seminal plasma exosomes on sperm function during long-term liquid storage. Boar seminal plasma exosomes had typical nano-structure morphology as measured by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and molecular markers such as AWN, CD9 and CD63 by western blot analysis. The effect on sperm parameters of adding different ratio of boar seminal plasma exosomes to boar sperm preparations was analyzed. Compared to the diluent without exosomes, the diluent with four times or sixteen times exosomes compared to original semen had higher sperm motility, prolonged effective survival time, improved sperm plasma membrane integrity (p < 0.05), increased total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) activity and decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) content. The diluent containing four times concentration of exosomes compared to original semen was determined to inhibit premature capacitation, but not to influence capacitation induced in vitro. Inhibition of premature capacitation is likely related to the concentration of exosomes which had been demonstrated to transfer proteins including AWN and PSP-1 into sperm. In addition, using fluorescence microscopy and scanning electron microscopy analysis, it was demonstrated that exosomes in diluent were directly binding to the membrane of sperm head which could improve sperm plasma membrane integrity.

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