Exogenous gamma-aminobutyric acid addition enhances porcine sperm acrosome reaction

Shouhei Kurata, Kohei Umezu, Hironori Takamori, Yuuki Hiradate, Kenshiro Hara, Kentaro Tanemura

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    The widely used porcine artificial insemination procedure involves the use of liquid-stored semen because it is difficult to control the quality of frozen–thawed porcine sperm. Therefore, there is a high demand for porcine semen. The control and enhancement of sperm function are required for the efficient reproduction of pigs. We previously reported that gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) enhanced sperm capacitation and acrosome reaction in mice. In this study, we demonstrated the presence of GABAA receptors in porcine sperm acrosome. Furthermore, we investigated the GABA effects on porcine sperm function. We did not detect any marked effect of GABA on sperm motility and tyrosine phosphorylation of sperm proteins. However, GABA promoted acrosome reaction, which was suppressed by a selective GABAA receptor antagonist. GABA binds to GABAA receptors, resulting in chloride ion influx. We found that treatment with 1 μM GABA increased the intracellular concentration of chloride ion in the sperm. In addition, the GABA concentration effective in the acrosome reaction was correlated with the porcine sperm concentration. These results indicate that GABA and its receptors can act as modulators of acrosome reaction. This study is the first to report the effects of GABA on porcine sperm function.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere13744
    JournalAnimal Science Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1


    • GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)
    • acrosome reaction
    • capacitation
    • porcine
    • sperm

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Exogenous gamma-aminobutyric acid addition enhances porcine sperm acrosome reaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this