Sperm Lipid Composition in Early Diverged Fish Species: Internal vs. External Mode of Fertilization

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Engel, Kathrin M.
Dzyuba, Viktoriya
Ninhaus-Silveira, Alexandre [UNESP]
Verissimo-Silveira, Rosicleire [UNESP]
Dannenberger, Dirk
Schiller, Juergen
Steinbach, Christoph
Dzyuba, Borys

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The lipid composition of sperm membranes is crucial for fertilization and differs among species. As the evolution of internal fertilization modes in fishes is not understood, a comparative study of the sperm lipid composition in freshwater representatives of externally and internally fertilizing fishes is needed for a better understanding of taxa-specific relationships between the lipid composition of the sperm membrane and the sperm physiology. The lipidomes of spermatozoa from stingray, a representative of cartilaginous fishes possessing internal fertilization, and sterlet, a representative of chondrostean fishes with external fertilization, have been studied by means of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS), electrospray MS, gas chromatography-(GC) MS, and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). NMR experiments revealed higher cholesterol content and the presence of phosphatidylserine in stingray compared to sterlet sperm. Unknown MS signals could be assigned to different glycosphingolipids in sterlet (neutral glycosphingolipid Gal-Cer(d18:1/16:0)) and stingray (acidic glycosphingolipid sulpho-Gal-Cer(d18:1/16:0)). Free fatty acids in sterlet sperm indicate internal energy storage. GC-MS experiments indicated a significant amount of adrenic acid, but only a low amount of docosahexaenoic acid in stingray sperm. In a nutshell, this study provides novel data on sperm lipid composition for freshwater stingray and sterlet possessing different modes of fertilization.



lipidomics, sperm, freshwater fish, mass spectrometry, thin-layer chromatography, fertilization mode

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Biomolecules. Basel: Mdpi, v. 10, n. 2, 25 p., 2020.