Changes in the Distribution of Intramembranous Particles and Filipin-Sterol Complexes During Epididymal Maturation of Golden Hamster Spermatozoa

J Ultrastruct Mol Struct Res. 1988 Jul;100(1):39-54. doi: 10.1016/0889-1605(88)90057-2.


Golden hamster spermatozoa in various segments of the excurrent duct system were studied by freeze-fracture with and without filipin treatment. Two types of regular IMP (intramembranous particle) patterns temporarily appear on the plasma membrane covering the sperm head. One is a hexagonal arrangement seen in the acrosomal region, and the other is a linear arrangement near the posterior ring. Both patterns are seen in the spermatozoa from the corpus epididymidis. The FSC (filipin-sterol complex) density in the plasma membrane covering the acrosome increases from about 400 to 500 FSC/microns2 during epididymal passage. In this region, the majority of the membrane sterols appears to reside on the outer leaflet of the lipid bilayer. When the spermatozoa reach the cauda epididymidis, FSCs in the outer acrosomal membrane virtually disappear from the apical segment, while they increase in the middle segment (250 FSC/microns2). These observations are discussed in relation to epididymal maturation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cricetinae / anatomy & histology*
  • Epididymis / physiology*
  • Filipin
  • Freeze Fracturing
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Mesocricetus / anatomy & histology*
  • Spermatozoa / physiology
  • Spermatozoa / ultrastructure*
  • Sterols / metabolism*
  • Sterols / physiology


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Sterols
  • Filipin