Sperm induce Ca(2+) waves in the fertilized egg by introducing soluble factors or by surface interactions, which activate egg Ca(2+) channels. Involvement of sperm Ca(2+) channels is predicted by the conduit model; however, this model has not been validated. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the sperm-specific TRP family Ca(2+) channel TRP-3 mediates sperm-oocyte fusion. Here, using high-speed in vivo imaging and image analyses, we show that sperm induce an immediate local Ca(2+) rise followed by a Ca(2+) wave in fertilized C. elegans oocytes. Oocytes fertilized by rare trp-3 escaper sperm showed a lack of local rise and a delay in onset of the Ca(2+) wave. Sperm Ca(2+) imaging suggests that the local rise is not due to the bolus introduction of stored Ca(2+). These results suggest that, along with its primary function in sperm-oocyte fusion, TRP-3 induces Ca(2+) waves in fertilized oocytes, consistent with the conduit model.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.