The role of hormones in the acquisition of sperm motility in salmonid fish

J Exp Zool. 1992 Mar 1;261(3):359-63. doi: 10.1002/jez.1402610316.


In salmonid fish, spermatozoa taken from the testes are immotile, but acquire motility during their passage through the sperm duct. Using male masu salmon (Oncorhynchus masou), we found that gonadotropin-induced testicular production of 17 alpha, 20 beta-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17 alpha, 20 beta-DP), the oocyte maturation-inducing hormone of salmonid fish, is responsible for the acquisition of sperm motility. However, neither testosterone (T) nor 11-ketotestosterone (11-KT), the two major androgens in teleost fish, were effective. We also present evidence that 17 alpha, 20 beta-DP action is mediated through an increase in sperm duct pH, which in turn increases the cAMP content of sperm allowing the acquisition of motility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • Gonadotropins / pharmacology
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hydroxyprogesterones / blood
  • Hydroxyprogesterones / pharmacokinetics*
  • Male
  • Salmon
  • Sperm Motility / physiology*
  • Spermatogenesis / physiology
  • Spermatozoa / metabolism
  • Spermatozoa / physiology
  • Testis / physiology


  • Gonadotropins
  • Hydroxyprogesterones
  • salmon gonadotropin
  • 17,20-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one
  • Cyclic AMP