Functional characterization of a mouse testicular olfactory receptor and its role in chemosensing and in regulation of sperm motility

  • Fukuda N
  • 85


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 130


    Citations of this article.


Although a subset of the olfactory receptor (OR) gene family is expressed in testis, neither their developmental profile nor their physiological functions have been fully characterized. Here, we show that MOR23 (a mouse OR expressed in the olfactory epithelium and testis) functions as a chemosensing receptor in mouse germ cells. In situ hybridization showed that MOR23 was expressed in round spermatids during stages VI-VIII of spermatogenesis. Lyral, a cognate ligand of MOR23, caused an increase in intracellular Ca2+ in a fraction of spermatogenic cells and spermatozoa. We also generated transgenic mice that express high levels of MOR23 in the testis and examined the response of their germ cells to lyral. The results provided evidence that lyral-induced Ca2+ increases were indeed mediated by MOR23. In a sperm accumulation assay, spermatozoa migrated towards an increasing gradient of lyral. Tracking and sperm flagellar analyses suggest that Ca2+ increases caused by MOR23 activation lead to modulation of flagellar configuration, resulting in chemotaxis. By contrast, a gradient of a cAMP analog or K8.6 solution, which elicit Ca2+ influx in spermatozoa, did not cause sperm accumulation, indicating that chemosensing and regulation of sperm motility was due to an OR-mediated local Ca2+ increase. The present studies indicate that mouse testicular ORs might play a role in chemoreception during sperm-egg communication and thereby regulate fertilization.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • N. Fukuda

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free