A high molecular weight glycoprotein in seminal plasma is a sperm immobilizing factor in the teleost Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus

Dev Growth Differ. 1999 Oct;41(5):619-27. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-169x.1999.00463.x.


Sperm that have acquired potential for motility are kept immotile in seminal plasma in the teleost, Nile tilapia. In order to investigate the mechanism of immobilization, several experiments were performed using a previously characterized monoclonal antibody (TAT-30) against a molecular weight (Mr) = 120,000 protein that is secreted by Sertoli cells and epithelial cells of the sperm duct, and is also bound to the head of the spermatozoon. First, we assessed sperm motility in the seminal plasma protein fraction (SPP), and demonstrated that the sperm motility is inhibited by SPP in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, sperm motility was recovered if SPP was pretreated with TAT-30, suggesting that the TAT-30 antigen is one of the components of the sperm immobilizing factor. Calibration by gel filtration followed by sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and western blotting with TAT-30 demonstrated that the sperm immobilizing factor was more than Mr = 1,000,000 in seminal plasma, suggesting that it is a homopolymer of the Mr = 120,000-TAT-30 positive protein. Additionally, lectin blot analysis showed that the TAT-30 antigen was reactive with Lens culinarin agglutinin (LCA) and Conavalia ensiformis agglutinin (ConA), indicating that it is a glycoprotein. Immunohistochemical studies showed that the TAT-30 antigen was localized specifically on the heads of spermatozoa and on the apical surface, lysosomes and rough endoplasmic reticulum of Sertoli cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Molecular Weight
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Semen / chemistry
  • Semen / metabolism*
  • Sperm Head / chemistry
  • Sperm Head / metabolism
  • Sperm Motility / physiology*
  • Testis / metabolism
  • Testis / ultrastructure
  • Tilapia / physiology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Glycoproteins