Atrial natriuretic peptide induces acrosomal exocytosis of human spermatozoa

Ronit Rotem, Nadav Zamir, Nurit Keynan, Dalit Barkan, Haim Breitbart, Zvi Naor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acrosomal exocytosis in mammalian spermatozoa is a process essential for fertilization. We report here that atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) markedly stimulates acrosomal exocytosis of capacitated human spermatozoa. Typically, ANP exerts some of its actions via activation of the ANP receptor (ANPR-A), a particulate guanylyl cyclase-linked receptor, and subsequent formation of guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP). We found that ANP-stimulated acrosome reaction was inhibited by the competitive ANPR-A antagonist anantin, indicating a receptor-mediated process. A linear fragment of ANP, ANP-(13- 28), and another ANP-like compound, brain natriuretic peptide, were inactive. The stimulatory effect of ANP on acrosome reaction was mimicked by the permeable cGMP analog, 8-bromo-cGMP (8-BrcGMP). Addition of the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors, staurosporine and GF-109203X, resulted in a dose- related inhibition of ANP-induced acrosome reaction. Also, downregulation of endogeneous PKC activity resulted in inhibition of ANP- but not 8-BrcGMP- induced acrosome reaction. Removal of extracellular Ca2+ abolished ANP- induced acrosome reaction. Thus ANP via Ca2+ influx, PKC activation, and stimulation of particulate guanylyl cyclase may play a role in the induction of acrosome reaction of human spermatozoa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E218-E223
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2 37-2
StatePublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Acrosome reaction
  • Calcium
  • Guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate
  • Protein kinase C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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