Comparative immunolocalization of heat shock proteins (Hsp)-60, -70, -90 in boar, stallion, dog and cat spermatozoa.
Heat shock proteins (Hsp)-60, -70 and -90 are important testis chaperones that fulfil several functions during sperm cell maturation. In post-meiotic cells, their expression may change or may be undetectable and in some species it may be evident in mature spermatozoa. The aims of this study were to verify whether Hsp60, -70 and -90 are present in the sperm, and to compare their localization in boar, stallion, cat and dog spermatozoa by immunofluorescence. Hsp-60 immunoreactivity was detected in sperm midpiece in all the species examined. In stallion sperm, Hsp70 signal was localized in the sub-equatorial band, whereas immunoreactivity was evident on the neck of dog spermatozoa and on both neck and sub-equatorial region of cat spermatozoa. In agreement with our previous observations, a triangular fluorescent signal in the equatorial segment of fresh boar sperm was detected. Hsp90 immunoreactivity was present in different portions of sperm tail: in the midpiece of both boar and cat spermatozoa and in the neck and throughout the tail in dog and stallion spermatozoa, respectively. When capacitation and acrosome reaction were induced in boar, stallion and dog spermatozoa, no changes in both Hsp60 and -90 were recorded by either Western blot or immunofluorescence. After induction of acrosome reaction, a Hsp70 redistribution in boar spermatozoa and an increased percentage of stallion spermatozoa showing the post-acrosomal signal were observed although no changes were recorded by Western blot; in dog spermatozoa, no changes in Hsp70 were found by Western blot and immunofluorescence after capacitation and acrosome reaction.