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      Different Migration Patterns of Sea Urchin and Mouse Sperm Revealed by a Microfluidic Chemotaxis Device

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          Abstract

          Chemotaxis refers to a process whereby cells move up or down a chemical gradient. Sperm chemotaxis is known to be a strategy exploited by marine invertebrates such as sea urchins to reach eggs efficiently in moving water. Less is understood about how or whether chemotaxis is used by mammalian sperm to reach eggs, where fertilization takes place within the confinement of a reproductive tract. In this report, we quantitatively assessed sea urchin and mouse sperm chemotaxis using a recently developed microfluidic model and high-speed imaging. Results demonstrated that sea urchin Arbacia punctulata sperm were chemotactic toward the peptide resact with high chemotactic sensitivity, with an average velocity V x up the chemical gradient as high as 20% of its average speed (238 μm/s), while mouse sperm displayed no statistically significant chemotactic behavior in progesterone gradients, which had been proposed to guide mammalian sperm toward eggs. This work demonstrates the validity of a microfluidic model for quantitative sperm chemotaxis studies, and reveals a biological insight that chemotaxis up a progesterone gradient may not be a universal strategy for mammalian sperm to reach eggs.

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          Author and article information

          Contributors
          Role: Editor
          Journal
          PLoS One
          PLoS ONE
          plos
          plosone
          PLoS ONE
          Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
          1932-6203
          2013
          16 April 2013
          : 8
          : 4
          Affiliations
          [1 ]Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America
          [2 ]Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States of America
          National Research Council, Italy
          Author notes

          Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

          Conceived and designed the experiments: HC SSS MW. Performed the experiments: HC. Analyzed the data: HC BJK YSK. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: BJK SSS MW. Wrote the paper: HC BJK SSS MW.

          Article
          PONE-D-12-37731
          10.1371/journal.pone.0060587
          3628882
          23613731

          This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

          Page count
          Pages: 8
          Funding
          This work was supported by the Cornell Nanobiotechnology Center ( www.nbtc.cornell.edu), the Cornell NanoScale Science and Technology ( www.cnf.cornell.edu), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) R03 HD062471-01 ( www.nih.gov). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
          Categories
          Research Article
          Biology
          Biotechnology
          Marine Biology
          Model Organisms
          Molecular Cell Biology
          Engineering
          Bioengineering

          Uncategorized

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